Jean de Labadie (13 February 1610 Bourg, near Bordeaux, France – 13 February 1674 Altona, then Denmark) was a 17th century French pietist. Originally a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, he became a member of the Reformed Church in 1650, before founding the community which became known as the Labadists in 1669. At its height the movement numbered around 600 with thousands of adherents further afield. It attracted some notable female converts such as the famed poet and scholar, Anna Maria van Schurman, and the entomological artist Maria Merian.
Labadie combined the influences of Jansenism, Precicianism, and Reformed Pietism, developing a form of radical Christianity with an emphasis upon holiness and Christian communal living. Labadie's teachings gained hold in the Netherlands.
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“False greatness is unsociable and remote: conscious of its own frailty, it hides, or at least averts its face, and reveals itself only enough to create an illusion and not be recognized as the meanness that it really is. True greatness is free, kind, familiar and popular; it lets itself be touched and handled, it loses nothing by being seen at close quarters; the better one knows it, the more one admires it.”
—Jean De La Bruyère (16451696)