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ANGELUS SILESIUS-THE CHERUBINIC WANDERER Translation and foreword by Maria Shrady Introduction and notes by Josef Schmidt Preface by E.J. Furcha
"The Rose which here on earth is now perceived by me, has blossomed thus in god from all eternity." Angelus Silesius (1624-1677)
Johann Scheffler was born in 1624 to Protestant parents in the Silesian capital of Breslau, seven years after the Thirty Years' War had begun unsettling Europe. At the age of 29, after graduating from the University of Padua, he converted to Catholicism and took the name Angelus. Although he pursued a career as an energetic and sometimes vitriolic apologist, it was his poetry that won him a place of importance in the mystical literature of the West. By the mid-seventeenth century the epigram had become the most widely used form for German baroque poetry. Utilizing that genre, Silesius, in Josef Schmidt's words, "molded the epigram into perfectly expressing what has been the intrinsic problem of any mystical writer: saying the ineffable." The Cherubinic Wanderer over the decades has become an integral part of German religious folk literature. Admirers such as Friedrich Schlegel in the past century and Hans Urs von Balthasar and Umberto Eco in our own day have prized the work for its power, its immediacy, and its beauty of expression.