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Thomas of Jesus

à Jesu) (1564-1627. Carmelite* leader and writer. Born in Spain, he took doctorates in law and theology at Salamanca. Entering the Discalced Carmelite novitiate at Granada because of the influence of Teresa of Avila's* autobiography (1585), he made his profession at Valladolid (1587) and became professor and vice rector of the College of Alcalá. He instituted an eremitical life in the order by establishing “deserts” at Bolarque (1593) and Las Batuecas (1599), was provincial of Castile (1597-1600), vicar, then prior, of Las Batuecas (1606), and prior of Zaragoza (1607). Called to Rome by Paul V in 1607, he met opposition there and left to found communities in Brussels (1610), Louvain (1611), Douai (1612), Cologne (1613), Lille (1616), and Marleine (1619), finally seeing the erection of the Belgian and German provinces. He wrote on mystical theology (De Contemplatione Divina, 1620; Divinae Orationis Methodus, 1623) and missions (Stimulus Missionum, 1610; De Procuranda Salute omnium gentium, 1613).