1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Blois, Louis de

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BLOIS, LOUIS DE (1506–1566), Flemish mystical writer, generally known under the name of Blosius, was born in October 1506 at the château of Donstienne, near Liége, 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 Liessics 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 W. E. 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:—the Institutio Spiritualis (Eng. trans, A Book of Spiritual Instruction, London, 1900), Consolatio Pusillanimium (Eng. trans., Comfort for the Faint-Hearted, London, 1903), Sacellum Animae Fidelis (Eng. trans., The Sanctuary of the Faithful Soul, London, 1905), 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 XVI ème siècle (Paris, 1875), Eng. trans. by Lady Lovat (London, 1878, &c.).