Lanspergius, Johannes Justus
LANSPERGIUS, JOHANNES JUSTUS
Carthusian spiritual writer; b. Landsberg, Bavaria, 1490; d. Cologne, Aug. 10, 1539. He entered the Charter-house of St. Barbara at Cologne in 1509, and except for the period from 1530 to 1535, when he was prior at Jülich, his life was spent at Cologne. At that time St. Barbara's was a notable center of religious fervor, and Lanspergius was one of its leading representatives. He exercised a wide influence by preaching, writing letters, circulating prayers and devout treatises, and giving spiritual direction. Two of the earliest Jesuits, Peter faber and St. Peter canisius, came under his influence. Lanspergius was convinced that the only effective remedy for the evils of his day—the Reformation period—consisted in enkindling, preserving, and increasing the fire of divine love in the souls of men. His writings, which were numerous, were addressed to a varied public. He wrote a treatise on perfection for interior souls, sermons and homilies, counsel for Christian gentlemen, letters to nuns, and exhortations for sinners. He was an eloquent apostle of devotion to the sacred heart. All the essentials of that devotion can be found in his letter to a monk of his own monastery [Lanspergii Opera Omnia (Montreuil 1890) 4:138–139]. As a means of promoting this devotion, he edited the Revelations of St. Gertrude of Helfta (Cologne 1536).
Bibliography: j. j. lanspergius, An Epistle of Jesus Christ to the Faithful Soul, tr. p. howard, ed. monk of parkminster (London 1926). s. autore, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris 1903–50) 8.2:2606–09. r. bauerreiss, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 1957–65) 6:779. h. c. mann, "Chronicles of Cologne Charterhouse," Pax 47 (1957) 13–19, 59–64, 95–98, 134–139; 48 (1958) 50–55, 86–92; 51 (1961) 66–71.
[b. du moustier]