Thomas à Kempis

Thomas à Kempis (1379–1471) was a German monk who emphasized withdrawal from the attractions of the world. Born in the Rhineland town of Kempen, he attended a school at nearby Deventer in Holland that had been started by Gerard Groote, founder of the Brothers of the Common Life. These were men devoted to prayer, simplicity, and union with God. When Thomas was nineteen, he entered the monastery of Mount St. Agnes, which the brothers had recently started near Zwolle in Holland. He spent the rest of his long life behind the walls of that monastery. Thomas devoted himself to prayer, study, copying manuscripts, teaching novices, offering Mass, and hearing the confessions of people who came to the monastery church. He wrote a number of sermons, letters, hymns, and information about the lives of the saints. Thomas is most famous for Of the Imitation of Christ, a little instruction book on how to love God.

Books by Thomas à Kempis

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