« Bruegglers Brugmann, Jan Brully (Brusly), Pierre »

Brugmann, Jan

BRUGMANN, brūg´mɑ̄n, JAN: A theologian and reformer of the Franciscan order in the Netherlands and Germany. The date of his birth is unknown, but from the way in which he speaks of his age in 1473, the year of his death, he was probably born about 1400, at Kempen. He was educated and admitted to the clerical state in a monastery of the northwestern Netherlands, perhaps Groningen. He joined the Franciscans at Saint-Omer in Artois, where the community was full of the spirit of St. Bernardin of Sienna, the founder of the strict or Observant Franciscans. Here he taught theology, until in 1439 he was charged, at the request of the town council of Gouda, with the erection of an Observantine house there, and later took part in a similar work at Stuis, Leyden, and Alkmaar. Learning to know the moral and spiritual condition of the people while discharging these missions, he set himself to elevate it by popular preaching, at the same time effecting a reform in the convents of Gronigen, Gorinchem, Haarlem, Warnsveld, and Nymwegen between 1450 and 1455. At Amsterdam he founded a house in 1462, and composed a bitter factional strife among the citizens. He brought about the foundation of the Observantine province of Cologne, of which he was provincial for several years. Feeling his end approaching, he retired to Nymwegen, where he died. His influence went far beyond the reform of the Franciscan houses; he ranks with the great popular preachers of the Netherlands at that time, such as Groote and Florentius Radewyns, with whom he was in close alliance. A few of his sermons have been printed (see below). He wrote also a life of Christ, which in some particulars resembles those of Bonaventura and Ludolf of Saxony, though adhering more closely to the Gospel narrative. In spite of its frequently erroneous exegesis and its arbitrary mystical interpretations, it is so full of simple piety and warm devotion that it awakens respect. He wrote also, in three different versions, the life of Lidwina of Schiedam, a mystical ascetic considered a saint in the Netherlands (1350–1443); it has recently been discovered that he was a vernacular spiritual poet of no slight importance.

L. Schulze.


Bibliography: The one book is W. Moll, Joh. Brugmann, en het Godsdienstig Leven, Amsterdam, 1854. One of his sermons is given in Moll's biography, but other sermons and writings of his appear in Handelingen . . . Maatschappij der Nederlandsche letterkunde, The Hague, 1887; De Katholik, xx.; Archief voor Nederlandsche Kerkgeschiedenis i. (1885), iv. (1892–93).

« Bruegglers Brugmann, Jan Brully (Brusly), Pierre »
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