The Mystics
Meister Eckart
The Mystics
Thomas a Kempis

Mystics : Gerard Groote

Gerard Groote (1340-1384) was a native of Deventer, a city located in Overijssel (NL), then a part of the princebishopric of Utrecht. He studied at Aachen and at the Sorbonne and bagan a career as a teacher. He was sent on a diplomatic mission to Avignon, and after his return continued to teach, this time theology in Cologne. Then he changed his lifestyle, renounced wordly privileges such as prebends, honors, property, lived a devout lifestyle, the DEVOTIO MODERNA, and preached the same. For a while he was favoured by the bishop of Utrecht, being granted permission to teach throughout his diocesis, a permission which was later withdrawn. Gerard Groote, at the instigation of one of his students, established the community of the BRETHREN OF COMMON LIFE at Zwolle (Overijssel). Similar communities soon spread throughout the Netherlands, the Rhineland and Westphalia. G. Groote died in 1384 from the Black Plague; his communities were organized into the CONGREGATION OF WINDESHEIM in 1386 by FLORIS RADEWYNS, Groote's successor.
Groote's life was described by THOMAS A KEMPIS in the VITA GERARDI. Groote was never canonized.

Gerard Groote and the Brothers of the Common Life, by Arthur Broekhuysen
Articles from the Catholic Encyclopedia : Gerard Groote
Articles from Encyclopaedia Britannica : Devotio Moderna, Geert Groote, Brethren of the Common Life

This page is part of World History at KMLA
Last revised on May 31st 2001