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     Suso, Heinrich  (21st March c1295-25th January 1366)

    He was a lyric poet, divine troubadour, mystic and Dominican monk born Heinrich von Berg in Uberlingen, Lake Constance, Germany.  His father was from a family of nobility and his mother was a holy woman from the Sus family, whose surname he would later take.  He was also known by the German name Heinrich Seuse and used the pseudonym Amandus as an author.  He studied philosophy and theology in Constance after he had entered the Dominican convent there when he as 13 years old and in 1324 he took a further course in theology in Cologne where he would study with his friend Johannes Tauler under Meister Eckhart.  The three of them would later be identified the Rhineland School of Mysticism.  He wrote much lyric poetry that explore the philosophy and spiritual truths of Meister Eckhart and his book In Das Buchleln der ewigen Weisheit (The Little Book of Eternal Wisdom), written some time between 1327 and 1334, has been described as "the finest fruit of Germany mysticism".  Another of his works "In Dulci Jubilo" is a Christmas Carol written in 1328, which has stood the test of time and although undergoing many translations and adaptation is still extremely popular today.  He returned to Constance as the office of lector, but for some reason he was removed from this post between 1329 and 1334, so he stepped into apostolicism where he would become a convent prior in 1343 and move to Ulm in 1348.  He was known for being a huge influence in convents for women, and in the convent at Toss, Germany, he would have many of his works translated from Latin to German by Elsbeth Stagel who was also a mystic.  His works were heard throughout Europe and he was highly thought of in countries such as Switzerland, Italy, France and the Netherlands.  He was claimed to be a masochist where he would inflict severe pain on himself in the form of wearing undergarments studded with nails, sleeping on a bare freezing floor on a cross that had protruding nails and wearing gloves filled with tacks so he couldn't scratch himself while undergoing 25 years of infestation from not bathing.  He died in Ulm, Germany, in 1366 aged somewhere around 70 and Pope Gregory XVI declared him as Blessed in 1831.

     

    Leroy Anderson and His Orchestra recordings

    Decca B0003552-02 (CD: A Leroy Anderson Christmas)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Suso
    2. http://www.bartleby.com/65/su/Suso-Hei.html
    3. http://www.nndb.com/people/316/000098022/
    4. http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/Biographies/henry_suso.htm

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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