Groote, Geert de

   Mystic, Missionary and Order Founder.
   Groote was born in Deventer and was educated at the University of Paris, France. In 1374 he was converted from his luxurious lifestyle and, after contact with the mystic Jan van ruysbroeck, he became a missionary– preacher in Utrecht. Together with his friend Florentius Radewijns, he founded the Brethren of the Common Life in Deventer. Members of the community made no vows and pursued their ordinary lives. At the same time, they were dedicated to a life of prayer. Groote also wrote a Rule for a similar order for women. In 1383 his enemies ensured the removal of his licence to preach and he died before his appeal to Rome could be heard. After his death the Brethren reorganised themselves as Augustinian Canons. thomas à kempis was perhaps the most famous member of the order and he was the author of a biography of Groote.
   A. Hyma, The Brethren of the Common Life (1950);
   T.P. van Zijl, Gerard Groote: Ascetic and Reformer 13401384 (1963).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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