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Imitation of Christ

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A work of spiritual devotion, also sometimes called the "Following of Christ". Its purpose is to instruct the soul in Christian perfection with Christ as the Divine Model. It consists of a series of counsels of perfection written in Latin in a familiar and even colloquial style, and is divided into four parts or books:

  • Useful admonitions for a spiritual life,
  • Admonitions concerning spiritual things;
  • Of interior consolation;
  • Of the Blessed Sacrament.
  • With the exception of the Bible , it is perhaps the most widely read spiritual book in the world. It was first published anonymously in A.D. 1418. Its authorship has been disputed, being attributed to various spiritual writers: St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure , Innocent III, Henry of Kalkar, John à Kempis, Walter Hilton, Jean Charlier de Gerson, and Giovanni Gersen. The claim of Thomas à Kempis has been completely vindicated in recent years. For details as regards the authorship and the nature of the work itself see THOMAS À KEMPIS.

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