Tomas Spidlik

Tomas Spidlik

Tomas Spidlik was born in Boskovice, now in the Czech Republic, in 1919. In 1938, he entered the Department of Philosophy at the University of Brno, in what is now the Czech Republic. In the following year, he entered the Jesuits. In 1951, Spidlik began broadcasting programs from Vatican Radio to the countries behind the Iron Curtain calling for freedom. Among others, he met with Alexander Dubcek, the former First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, and Václav Havel, who became President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic after the fall of the communist regime. His Sunday homilies in the Czech language have been translated and published in various languages including Polish, Romanian and Italian. 1955 marked the beginning of his university career as a professor of Patristic and Eastern Spiritual Theology at various universities in Rome as well as around the world. He was made Cardinal in 2003 and has become known as one of the greatest experts in the spirituality of Eastern Christianity today. As a prolific author, he has been equally acknowledged in the academic and international fields, and has been chosen Man of the Year, 1990 and the most admired person of the decade by the American Bibliographical Institute of Raleigh in North Carolina. He was also decorated with the medal of the Masaryk Order, one of the highest honors of the Czech State, by President Vaclav Havel.

The Art of Purifying the Heart