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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR NEW MONTHLY DONATIONS! Thank you and God bless.

Imitation of Christ

A work of spiritual devotion by Thomas a Kempis

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Imitation of Christ, a work of spiritual devotion, also sometimes called the “Following of Christ”. Its purpose is to instruct the soul in Christian perfection with Christ as the Divine Model. It consists of a series of counsels of perfection written in Latin in a familiar and even colloquial style, and is divided into four parts or books: (I) Useful admonitions for a spiritual life; (2) Admonitions concerning spiritual things; (3) Of interior consolation; (4) Of the Blessed Sacrament. With the exception of the Bible, it is perhaps the most widely read spiritual book m the world. It was first published anonymously in A.D. 1418. Its authorship was until recently in dispute, being attributed to various spiritual writers, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, Innocent III, Henry of Kalkar, John a Kempis, Walter Hilton, Jean Charlier de Gerson, and Giovanni Gersen. The claim of Thomas a Kempis has been completely vindicated in recent years. For details as regards the authorship and the nature of the work itself see Thomas a Kempis.


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