Monday, August 19, 2013

Week Three The Finale of Illuminations by Mary Sharratt



Week Three Illuminations

First I thought I'd present the paperback cover and audible cover for Illuminations both beautiful and worth showing.

This tale of Hildegard is over but never all told so I thought we'd visit some other facts about her:
October 7-2012 Hildegard is made Doctor of Church
Hildegard was one of the first officially applied to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church
Her name was taken up in Roman Marytorolgy at the end of the 16th Century
Hildegard also appears on the calendar of saints of the Anglican Church
Her Feast Day is September 17th

She also has a planet named after her and she's been portrayed in documentary film.

Now let's focus on the last part of Illuminations.

We've talked about Hildegard in terms of her visions, her passions and her nurturing. I'd like to know
what you thought about Mary's portrayal of her throughout the novel not only in her spiritual persona but her very humanized personality too.

Character stand outs in the last section- did anyone we haven't mentioned to this point make you want to sing their praises or feel contempt for.
Or someone we've chatted about before that you think deserves more.

Final Thoughts

What one miracle, vision, occurrence stands out for you in the life of Hildegard?


  1. Deb, I'm a tad behind - had an out of town wedding to attend last weekend, and I'm still catching up. I'll join in tomorrow.

  2. Replies
    1. It is Mary. Thanks for checking in and give us a little more time :)

  3. This summer has been crazy busy for me - I don't think there were too many weekends we were home, but I certainly didn't plan it that way! This last weekend we went to a little town about 3 hours from our home, to attend the wedding of a friend of my older daughter. I'm ready for some down time!

    But I did manage to finish this book, and I'm so glad I did! I was afraid it was going to be too sad, but I left feeling very positive. It's like reality set in at Rupertsberg, and while it wasn't always pretty, it wasn't always glum either. Even though life was rarely if ever easy for Hildegard, for much of the book it almost felt like a fairy tale. As I think about it, I'm not really sure why I felt that way. Maybe because, even in the anchorage, she was fed and clothed and protected from the outside world. Near the end, she had to go into the world and make a stand, face some ugly crowds. And we got a good look at the human side of Hildegard, and it reminded me that she did not have a normal life, that she became overly attached to Richardis, to her detriment. It's not like she could visit her over a cup of coffee on the weekends..... It would be easy to fault Hildegard for her selfishness, but how could anyone blame her for wanting to hold onto the people and things she held dear, when she had so little in her life?

    I'm not sure there's any one vision that stands out to me, but the one thing that I'm most impressed by is her 'voice' when she is overtaken by a higher power. How else could her words have reached the ears and hearts of people that otherwise wouldn't have cared.

    Mary, thank you so much for this book. I'm a bit of a saint fanatic, and I found this story, from the human side of a saint, to be a very worthwhile read!

  4. Elaine. I love your interpretation of Hildegard especially as she aged and left the Monastery. I did get annoyed with her for holding on to Richardis etc but you've spelled it out so beautifully and yes I can really see it now.
    thanks for opening my eyes

    The summer has been crazy for me too, but not traveling just life :)