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Document Details :
Title: 'Time Sanctified'
Subtitle: A Weekly Meditation Routine for Mortals to Meditate on the Quatuor Novissima of Human Life
Author(s): VAN DER POL, Frank
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 25 Date: 2015
This article discusses a rare 16th century manual that commends a daily routine by which mortals might meditate upon the Quatuor Novissima of human life. The weekly agenda for a Christian lifestyle, presented with a view to the here and the hereafter, was composed by the Franciscan Provincial Johannes Knijff, who later became Bishop of Groningen. For each day there is a special focus. The document is thus analysed in terms of its daily pattern, its religious background, its presentation of the image of God and its anthropological view. Written in the vernacular, the treatise about the Vier Wtersten is also linked to late Medieval dissemination processes in the Low Countries. Clearly, it is part of the story of the Franciscan editions of Quatuor Novissima texts printed in the Netherlands. Finally, the booklet is placed in the increasingly problematic religious context of the mid-1550s. By composing a vernacular treatise from the classical Quatuor Novissima genre, which was deeply rooted in the late medieval Dutch spirituality as well as the devotional tradition of the Franciscan monasteries, we read the work of a well-known Franciscan Friar who was trying to strengthen the threatened Roman Catholic identity by developing the spiritual engagement of the laity. This manual provides a valuable addition to our knowledge and understanding of religious and spiritual literature of the sixteenth century.