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Thomas à Kempis
Although scholars dispute the authorship of the Imitatio, tradition and evidence say its author was Thomas Haemerken, who was born in Kempen c. 1379/1380. At 13, he joined his brother, John, in the Congregation of the Common Life, a group founded by Gerard Groote, at Deventer. The monastery at Deventer was founded by Florentius Radewyn and followed t he rule of St. John of Ruysbroek. Thomas eventually became a monk in 1406 at the Monastery of St. Agnes, where he was a member of the Augustinian canons. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1413 and in 1425 became subprior and novice master. He was a copyist and the chronicler of the monastery. In addition to The Imitation of Christ, he wrote Prayers and Meditations on the Life of Christ; On Solitude and Silence; and a Small Alphabe t for a Monk in the School of God. Thomas also authored biographies of Groote and Radewyn. He died in 1471, at the age of 92.
Karen Rae Keck
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