Jutta of Sponheim (d. 1136)

views updated

Jutta of Sponheim (d. 1136)

German mystic. Flourished between 1100–1136; died in 1136 at the convent of Disibodenberg in Germany; sister of Count Meginhard of Sponheim; never married; no children.

Jutta of Sponheim was a German noble and holy woman who felt a religious calling even as a child, and grew up receiving mystical visions which she shared with others. As a young woman, Jutta felt she needed to confine herself to truly reach God, and thus became a recluse at the small establishment of Disibodenberg. However, a woman whom so many people viewed as being especially blessed could not remain isolated for long. Within a few years, a large community of women had established itself near her cell. Among those who came to Disibodenberg was a young girl (c. 1106), Hildegard of Bingen , who also received visions and whom Jutta raised to understand the calling of the mystic. Although Jutta did not take an official position in the community, she acted as a spiritual director of the nuns. Hildegard took over this role on Jutta's death in 1136, eventually surpassing even Jutta in her fame as a blessed woman with special gifts of prophecy.


Anderson, Bonnie S., and Judith P. Zinsser. A History of Their Own. Vol. I. NY: Harper & Row, 1988.

Gies, Frances, and Joseph Gies. Women in the Middle Ages. NY: Harper and Row, 1978.

Laura York , Riverside, California

About this article

Jutta of Sponheim (d. 1136)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article