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The introduction to this volume includes a brief biographical sketch of Thomas À Kempis, a fourteenth-century German monk, as well as some notes about the texts themselves. Like all meditation books, explains the introduction, this one is not to be read in one sitting, but pondered and prayed over slowly. "Pause and reflect on what [À Kempis] has to say," advises Fr. Joseph Tylenda, the translator, "and then join with him when he address the Lord and listen to Him when He speaks to you."
Thomas À Kempis (1379-1471) was born in Germany and schooled by the Order of Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life in Netherlands. He lived for seventy years among the Canons Regular of St. Augustine at Mount St. Agnes Monastery. Ordained a priest, he twice served as the community's subprior and copied books by hand, including the entire Bible. He is best known as the author of the spiritual classic The Imitation of Christ.
Joseph Tylenda, S. J., theologian and historian, served as editor of Theological Studies magazine. He translated On the Passion of Christ by Thomas À Kempis and A Pilgrim's Journey: The Autobiography of St. Ignatius of Loyola, both published by Ignatius Press.