Hildegard von Bingen was significant for a number of reasons. One of the first was the fact that, as a woman, she rose to a position of great influence in a time when very few women had positions of power, particularly in the Catholic church which was decidedly patriarchal in structure and influence. Her mystical writings and the authority they were granted by first local church administrators and then the pope himself gave her a position and the confidence to point out abuses and work to resolve corruption within the church and political structures of the time.
Her work as an advocate for reform within the church would span nearly five decades as she worked tirelessly to help people find their way to god or salvation but also to point out and suggest solutions for abuses within the church. Her consistent and valiant struggles for compassion and social justice stood out in a time when these emotions were in rare supply and often far from the priorities of the secular rulers and the leaders of the church.