Florentius, Radewijns

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Cofounder with Gerard groote of the brethren of the common life; b. Leerdam, Holland, c. 1350; d. Deventer, March 24, 1400. Returning as a master of arts from the university in Prague, he heard a sermon by Groote, became his disciple, and at his insistence proceeded to ordination. In Deventer, center of the so-called devotio moderna, he joined Groote in his apostolate among poor clerical scholars. Gathering a number of these together as the Brethren of the Common Life, he thus fulfilled the desire of Groote to found such a community. In 1386 Windesheim became the center of the brotherhood, and other foundations soon followed. thomas À kempis lived under Radewijns' care at Deventer for seven years and, when he came to write his master's biography, depicted Radewijns as one who drew others to Christ not by subtle argument, but by the humility of his way of life.

Bibliography: t. À kempis, "The Life of Florentius," The Founders of the New Devotion, tr. j. p. arthur (St. Louis 1905) 81162. t. p. von zijl, Gerard Groote, Ascetic and Reformer, 13401384 (Washington 1963). f. vandenbroucke, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Freiburg 195765) 8:964965.

[m. s. conlan]

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Florentius, Radewijns

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