Ruysbroek, Jan van, St

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Ruysbroek, Jan van, St ( Jan van Ruusbroec) (1293–1381). Flemish Christian mystic. Born in Ruysbroek and educated in Brussels, in 1343 he retired with two others to a hermitage at Groenendael, near Brussels, later an important centre of the devotio moderna (see THOMAS Ā KEMPIS). In the growing controversy over mysticism, he was critical of the ‘Brethren of the Free Spirit’, but his principal work, The Spiritual Espousals, was itself attacked by Gerson. His many, mainly short, writings in Flemish betray the influence of Eckhart in particular, but develop within a clearly defined trinitarian framework. He is known as the Ecstatic Doctor; feast day, 2 Dec.