After the Bible, The Imitation of Christ is the favorite book of Catholics throughout the world. And of the English editions, none can equal this inspiring translation of Bishop Richard Challoner.
This book speaks to the soul of every true Christian, reminding him of the fleeting nature of earthly joy as opposed to the eternity of happiness with God.
The guide of saints since it first appeared in 1418 it was the sole spiritual reading of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who loved it and knew it by heart.
Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange asserted that the true mysticism of which it speaks is accessible to all, if they are willing to follow the way of humility, the cross, continual prayer, and docility to the Holy Ghost.
Thomas à Kempis
Thomas à Kempis was born at Kempen, Germany, circa 1380. After joining the monastery of Mount St. Agnes in 1406, he received Holy Orders seven years later, and thereafter busied himself with prolific writing and copying work. His books include the well-known Imitation of Christ, Life of Geert Groote, and Life of Liduina of Schiedam, the latter of which he epitomized. He also possessed an earnest love for the poor and Holy Scripture. Thomas à Kempis died on the twenty-fifth of July, 1471.
If a man tells you that he is fond of the Imitation, view him with sudden suspicion; he is either a dabbler or a saint...Heaven help us if we find easy reading in the Imitation of Christ
- Ronald Knox
None, I believe, except the Bible, has been so universally read and loved by Christians of all tongues and sects
- Thomas Carlyle
The most influential devotional book in Western Christian history
- Professor John van Engen