Louis de Blois

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Abbot Louis de Blois, O.S.B., (October 1506 – 7 January 1566) was a Flemish monk and mystical writer, generally known under the name of Blosius.


He 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 Habsburg Netherlands with the future emperor Charles V, who remained to the last his staunch friend. At the age of fourteen he received the Benedictine habit in Liessies Abbey in Hainaut, of which he became Abbot in 1530. Though Charles V pressed in vain upon him the archbishopric of Cambrai, Blosius studiously exerted himself in the reform of his monastery and in the composition of devotional works. He died at his monastery on 7 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 William Ewart Gladstone and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The best editions of his collected works are the first edition by J Frojus (Leuven, 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 XVIème siècle (Paris, 1875), Eng. trans. by Lady Lovat (London, 1878, etc.).

  • Institutio Spiritualis: A book of spiritual instruction (online text). St. MO, USA. 1900.


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