Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

(Or HARP, Latin CITHARŒDUS, or ERP as in the old manuscripts )

A fifteenth century Franciscan of the Strict Observance and a distinguished writer on mysticism, praised by Mabillon, Bona, etc. Only the last thirty years of his life are known to us. Born either at Düren (Marcoduranus), at Erp near Düren, or at Erps-Querbs near Louvain, Herp appears as rector of the Brethren of the Common Life, first in 1445 at Delft in Holland, then at Gouda, "to the great good of his subjects". In 1450, on a pilgrimage to Rome, he took the habit of St. Francis at the Convent of Ara Cœli. Twenty years later we find him provincial of the Province of Cologne (1470-73), then guardian of the convent of Mechlin in Belgium, where he died in 1478. The Franciscan Martyrology of Arturus of Rouen gives him the title of Blessed. Of his works, only one was printed during his life-time, "Speculum aureum decem præceptorum Dei" (Mainz, 1474); it is a collection of 213 sermons on the Commandments for the use of preachers and confessors. Another collection of 222 sermons (Sermones de tempore, de sanctis, etc.) was printed in 1484, etc. Both frequently quote the Doctors of the Middle Ages, especially St. Thomas, Alexander of Hales, St. Bernard, etc., and were often reprinted.

The other works of Herp, of which some — still unpublished — are to be found in the libraries of Cologne, Brussels, etc., are devoted to mystical subjects. The principal of these is the "Theologica Mystica", written on Mount Alverno and published in full at Cologne in 1538 by the Carthusian Th. Loher, with a dedication to George Skotborg, Bishop of Lund. It was reprinted five times before 1611, and translated into French, German, etc. The whole work comprises three parts: "Soliloquium divini Amoris", "Directorium Aureum contemplativorum", "Paradisus contemplativorum". The second part, the most famous, was written originally in Flemish (Spiegel der Volcomenheyt), printed in 1501, etc.; then, with several short treatises on kindred matters, it was translated into Latin under the title given above (Cologne, 1513, etc.), into Italian, Spanish, German, etc. The edition of the mystical theology, dedicated to St. Ignatius in 1556 by Loher, was censured by the Index (1559, 1580, 1583, etc.). Corrected editions followed with an "Introductio ad doctrinam" (Rome, 1585), an "Index Expurgatorius" (Paris, 1598), where can he found, as well as in the "Index of Sotomayor" (1640), the opinions to be corrected. As a whole and in the chief divisions of his doctrine, Herp shows several points of contact with his compatriot John of Ruysbroeck ; he has some beautiful passages on the love of God and of Christ. The Franciscan Chapter of Toledo in 1663 recommended his works as standard writings in mystic theology.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:19-22
19 So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors; you are ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 6:12-16
12 Now it happened in those days that he went onto the mountain to pray; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 28th, 2016 Image

St. Jude Thaddaeus
October 28: St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of ... Read More