« Ceillier, Remy Cele, Johannes Celestine »

Cele, Johannes

CELE, JOHANNES: Teacher at Zwolle; b. at Zwolle, about the middle of the fourteenth century; d. there May 9, 1417. He received his early education in his native place, continued his studies in some unknown school, and, returning to Zwolle, in 1374 was entrusted with the school-management there. Having been awakened by the preaching of Gerard Groote, he thought of joining the order of Minorites, but was prevented from doing so by Groote, who advised him to complete his studies at Prague. Whether he went to Prague is not known. Depressed in mind, Cele spent some time in the monastery at Munnikhuizen and in company with Ruysbroeck. Through the influence of Groote, in spite of opposition, Cele was made rector of the school at Zwolle. He received much help from the Brethren of the Common Life and assisted them especially in the difficult task of securing houses at Zwolle for their adherents and those committed to their charge, but he did not join the brotherhood, remaining rector of the ever-growing school, which numbered 1,000 pupils. He taught Latin, grammar, and rhetoric, and expounded the Scriptures, admitting laymen to his lectures against the will of the city ministers. He founded a large library by buying and copying manuscripts. For more than forty years he stood at the head of the institution, highly esteemed for his learning and piety and his lasting influence on his pupils. The lazy and presumptuous were kept under rigid discipline. All wore the simple dress of the brethren. He had no method of his own, but labored in the spirit of his friend Groote, recognizing in a pious personality the source of all morality, and thus he gave to the growing humanism the right direction and true basis in the Christian faith and genuine piety. Many prominent men were his pupils, such as Heinrich von Herxen, Wessel Gansfort, Alexander Hegius, Rudolf Langen, Rudolf Agricola, Ludwig Dringenberg, Moritz von Spiegelberg, and Johannes Busch.

L. Schulze.

Bibliography: Besides the works mentioned in the article Common Life, Brethren of the, valuable sources for Cele are the personal reminiscences of Thomas à Kempis in the Chronicon monasterii S. Agnetis, ed. H. Rosweyde, p. 171, Antwerp, 1615 and of his scholar, Johannes Busch, in the Chronicon Windeshemense, ed. K. Grube, pp. 204–222, Halle, 1887. Consult also ADB, iv. 79.

« Ceillier, Remy Cele, Johannes Celestine »
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