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Birth: 1293

Death: 1381

Bl. John of Ruysbroeck (1293-1381) was a mystic whose writings influenced the devotia moderna movement , which held that internal spiritual reflection was more important than ritual in deepening the spiritual life. Educated in Brussels, he was ordained to the priesthood c. 1317. He and two friends retired to Groenendael in 1343 to live more spiritual lives; in 1349, the group and its follo wers were established as a community of Augustinian canons. St. John's works include The Book of Extreme Truth and The Sparkling Stone. His most famous book, The Spiritual Espousals, uses the bridegroom metaphor to describe the relationship between the trinity and the faithful.

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