Thomas à Kempis  

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"Si vis aliquid utiliter scire, et discere, ama nesciri, et pro nihilo reputari."


"Love to be thyself unknown and to be counted for nothing."

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Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380 – 25 July 1471;) was a German-Dutch canon regular of the late medieval period and the author of The Imitation of Christ, one of the most popular and best known Christian devotional books. His name means "Thomas of Kempen", Kempen being his home town. While the form Thomas à Kempis (with a faux-French accent on the à) is often found, it is actually incorrect. The correct Latin should be Thomas a Kempis (…from Kempen), as borne out by surviving contemporary mentions of his name.

He was a member of the Modern Devotion, a spiritual movement during the late medieval period, and a follower of Geert Groote and Florens Radewyns, the founders of the Brethren of the Common Life.

The following quotes are attributed to him:

"Without the Way, there is no going, Without the Truth, there is no knowing, Without the Life, there is no living."

"If thou wilt receive profit, read with humility, simplicity and faith, and seek not at any time the fame of being learned."

"At the Day of Judgement we shall not be asked what we have read but what we have done."

The Imitation of Christ, Book I, ch. 3

"For man proposeth, but God disposeth"

The Imitation of Christ, Book I, ch. 19

"If, however, you seek Jesus in all things, you will surely find Him. "

The Imitation of Christ, Book II, ch. 7

The Book of Common Prayer lists his memorial as being on July 24th.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Thomas à Kempis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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