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John Brugman

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Brugman, JOHN, a renowned Franciscan preacher of the fifteenth century, b. at Kempen in the Diocese of Cologne, towards the end of the preceding century; d. at Nimwegen, Netherlands, September 19, 1473. He became lector of theology, vicar-provincial, and one of the founders of the Cologne Province of the Friars of the Minor Observance. For twenty years his name was celebrated as the most illustrious preacher of the Low Countries. Being the friend of Denis the Carthusian, it was due to his suggestion that the latter wrote his work: “De doctrines et regulis vitae Christianae”, dedicating it to Father Brugman. He also espoused the cause of the Brothers of the Common Life, which congregation, successfully devoted to the interests of education, had been established by two priests, Gerhard Groote and Florentius Radewiyns. He addressed them in the two letters which are still extant to strengthen them in the persecution to which they were subjected. He died in the odor of sanctity and is commemorated in the “Martyrologium Minoritico-Belgicum” on the 19th of September. Father Brugman wrote two lives of St. Lidwina, the first of which, printed at Cologne in 1433, was reprinted anonymously at Louvain in 1448, and later epitomized by Thomas a Kempis at Cologne. The second life appeared at Schiedam in 1498; both have been embodied by the Bollandists in the Acta SS., April 2. He also wrote a devout “Life of Jesus”. Father Brugman ranked among the best poets of his day. Two of his poems “O Ewich is so lane!” and “The Zielejacht” are included by Hoffmann von Fallersleben in his “Hora Belgic” (II, 36 41). His life was written by Dr. Mohl under the title “Joannes Brugman en het Godsdienstegen Leven Onzer Vaderen in de Vijftiende eeuw”, and published at Amsterdam in 1854. It consists of two volumes, the second containing Brugman’s unedited works.


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