Thomas à Kempis, 1380? - 1471

Thomas à Kempis is most famous for his influential and inspired book The Imitation of Christ.  These meditations on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth have been prized by many people throughout the centuries.  A major theme of the Imitation is that we tend to live and act unthinkingly and without a reasonable direction or plan for our lives.  True enlightenment comes from self-knowledge and knowledge of and trust in God.  There are even traces of Stoicism in this and in his other works, which consistently demonstrate a life devoted to piety, holiness, prayer, and mysticism.  A quote of note from Kempis: "I have sought for happiness everywhere, but I have found it nowhere except in a little corner with a little book."