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Dionysius The Carthusian

1402/3-1471. Mystic and writer. Born in Ryckel, Belgium, he was educated at Cologne University and joined the Carthusians at Roermond in 1423. From 1465 to 1469 he was in charge of the order at Bois-le-Duc. He wrote commentaries on Scripture, Pseudo-Dionysius (who influenced him greatly), Peter Lombard, Boethius, and John Climacus; produced also twenty-one treatises on the reformation of the church and Christian society, and letters for a crusade against the Turks. He had premonitions of calamities threatening the Christian world. Keen to lead souls to contemplation, he wrote De contemplatione. In the Opuscula he dealt with devout recitation of the Psalms, mortification, inconstancy of heart, and reformation of the inner man. He assisted Nicholas of Cusa* in his reform visitations in the Rhineland (1451-52). Though an eclectic, he was no mere compiler in his writings; Ignatius of Loyola and Francis de Sales read him. Dionysius published also a compendium of Aquinas's Summa. His mystical experiences made him known as “Doctor Ecstaticus.”