Some years ago, wrote the Flemish monk Guibert to his friend Radulfus, strange and incredible rumors reached his ears at the Benedictine monastery of Gembloux. They concerned an old woman, abbess of the Benedictine foundation at Bingen-am-Rhein, who had gained such fame that multitudes flocked to her convent, from curiosity or devotion, to seek her prophecies and prayers. All who returned thence astonished their hearers, but none could give a plausible account of the woman, save only that her soul was “said to be illumined by an invisible splendor known to her alone.” Finally he, Guibert, impatient with rumor and zealous for the truth, resolved to find out for himself. In the year 1175 he wrote to this famed seer, Hildegard, with mingled curiosity and awe. Surely she had received “rare gifts, till now practically unheard of throughout all ages”; in prophecy she excelled Miriam, Deborah, and Judith; but let her recall that great trees are uprooted sooner than reeds, and let her keep herself humble.