Mombaer, John

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Monastic reformer and ascetical writer, called also John Mauburnus or John of Brussels; b. Brussels, 1460;d. Paris, Dec. 29, 1501. He studied at the cathedral school in Utrecht and in 1480 entered the monastery of the Canons Regular at Mt. St. Agnes (near Zwolle), a house of the Congregation of Windesheim. Mombaer's spirituality was thus nourished by the devotio moderna of which Windesheim was the focal point. After serving as superior at Mt. St. Agnes, he was called to France in 1496 to inaugurate reform in various monasteries of his order there. In this work he enjoyed considerable success, but he also met with substantial opposition. In 1501 he was elected abbot of Livry. In his writings Mombaer gathered ancient truths of spirituality, but he tended to present the ascetical life as a rigid and mechanical system. He used a mnemonic verse form to describe his various steps, schemes, and divisions in the practice of prayer and the attainment of Christian virtue. His works include Rosetum exercitiorum spiritualium et sacrarum meditationum, Exercitia utilissima pro horis solvendis et devota communione sacramentali, and Venatorium sanctorum Ordinis Canonicorum Regularium.

Bibliography: p. debongnie, Jean Mombaer de Bruxelles (Louvain 1927). p. groult, Les Mystiques des Pays-Bas et la littérature espagnole (Louvain 1927). h. watrigant, Revue d'ascétique et de mystique 3 (1922): 134155; 4 (1923): 1329; 8 (1927): 392402. f. brunhÖlzl, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, 10 v. (Freiburg 195765) 7:184.

[j. c. willke]