Thomas à Kempis (1380 - 1471) was a medieval Christian monk and author of The Imitation of Christ, one of the most well-known Christian devotional books.
He was born at Kempen, Germany in 1380 and died near Zwolle in 1471. His paternal name was Hemerken or Hämmerlein, "little hammer."
Thomas' life was quiet, spent mostly in devotional exercises, composition, and copying. He copied the entire Bible four times, one of the copies being preserved at Darmstadt in five volumes. His works abound in Biblical quotations, especially from the New Testament. Beside Imitation of Christ he wrote a prolonged meditation on the life and blessings of the Savior and another on the Incarnation.
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