Of the Imitation of Christ
Born in 1379, Thomas Haemerken was but thirteen when he left his home in Cologne to further his schooling in Holland. Informed upon his arrival that his older brother, who had gone on before, had entered a monastic order, Thomas...
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Born in 1379, Thomas Haemerken was but thirteen when he left his home in Cologne to further his schooling in Holland. Informed upon his arrival that his older brother, who had gone on before, had entered a monastic order, Thomas followed suit entering the order of The Common Life. Upon entry he took no vows, yet chose on his own to live a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Well-loved and respected by all, he was promoted within the order on more than one occasion. Those who knew him spoke often of his love for reading, writing, and prayer. Though considered a man of few words, he was known to express his thoughts quite passionately when conversations turned to matters of the soul. Both the impression he left behind and the power of his writings are revered to this day by people of faith.
Written over five centuries ago by Thomas Kempis, The Imitation of Christ has been translated into more languages than any other book except the Bible. It has been acclaimed by countless readers as one of the greatest spiritual masterpieces ever written.
THOMAS A'KEMPIS (1380-1471) was a Dutch priest, monk, and writer born in Kempen, Germany. He attended a school near Deventer in Holland. Thomas of Kempen, as he was known at school, was so impressed by his teachers that he decided to live his own life according to their ideals. When he was 19, he entered the monastery of Mount St. Agnes and spent the rest of his long life behind the walls of that monastery. Thomas wrote a number of sermons, letters, hymns, and lives of the saints. The most famous of his works, by far, is The Imitation of Christ, a charming instruction on how to love God. The Imitation of Christ has come to be, after the Bible, the most widely translated book in Christian literature.