Abbot Blosius of Liessies

LOUIS de BLOIS, OSB (October 1506 - January 7, 1566), Flemish mystical writer, generally known under the name of Blosius, was born at the château of Donstienne, near Liège, of an illustrious family to which several crowned heads were allied.

He was educated at the court of the Netherlands with the future emperor Charles V of Germany, who remained to the last his staunch friend. At the age of fourteen he received the Benedictine habit in the monastery of Liessies in Hainaut, of which he became abbot in 1530. Charles V pressed in vain upon him the archbishopric of Cambrai, but Blosius studiously exerted himself in the reform of his monastery and in the composition of devotional works. He died at his monastery on the 7th of January 1566.

Blosius's works, which were written in Latin, have been translated into almost every European language, and have appealed not only to Roman Catholics, but to many English laymen of note, such as WE Gladstone and Lord Coleridge.

The best editions of his collected works are the first edition by J Frojus (Louvain, 1568), and the Cologne reprints (1572, 1587). His best-known works are:

All these three works were translated and edited by Father Bertrand Wilberforce, O.P., and have been reprinted several times; and especially Speculum Monachorum (French trans. by Félicité de Lamennais, Paris, 1809; Eng. trans., Paris, 1676; re-edited by Lord Coleridge, London, 1871, 1872, and inserted in "Paternoster" series, 1901).

See Georges de Blois, Louis de Blois, un Bénédictin au XVIe siècle (Paris, 1875), Eng. trans. by Lady Lovat (London, 1878, etc.).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.


Adapted from The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. E. Livingstone, (Oxford, 1977), p.


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