Friday, October 6, 2006
St. Bruno

Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): October 6
Double (1954 Calendar): October 6

St. Bruno was born in 1030 in Cologne, Germany to St. Matilda (his mother), patroness of Maude and a widow of King Henry I. Except St. Norbert, he is the only German having such an honor. St. Bruno became a priest, the founder of the religious Order, the Carthusians. He achieved fame as a professor of theology at Rheims but ultimately decided to live a life of complete solitude and prayer. After establishing a hermitage in Chartreuse, near Grenoble, France, he attracted many followers. They led him to establish the first monastery of Carthusian monks. Pope Urban II called him to Rome, but later St. Bruno was able to establish a second monastery in Italy. He died in 1101 at Calabria.

He was proclaimed a saint "vivae vocis oraculo" by Pope Leo X on July 19, 1514. His feast was observed almost immediately and was extended to the Univeral Church in 1623. Those interested in the unique Carthusian Rite, of which St. Bruno is the founder, should consult "Liturgies of the Religious Orders" by Archdale Arthur King.

Traditional Matins Reading:

Bruno, the founder of the Carthusian Order, was born at Cologne, and from his very cradle gave great promise of future sanctity. Favoured by divine grace, the gravity of his character made him shun all childishness; so that, even at that age, one might have foreseen in him the future father of monks and restorer of the anachoretical life. His parents, who were distinguished for virtue and nobility, sent him to Paris, where he made great progress in philosophy and theology, and took the degrees of doctor and master in both faculties. Soon after this, he was, for his remarkable virtue, appointed to a canonry in the church of Rheims.

After some years, Bruno, with six of his friends, renounced the world, and betook himself to Hugh, bishop of Grenoble. On learning the cause of their coming, the bishop understood that they had been signified by the seven stars he had seen falling at his feet in his dream of the previous night. He therefore made over to them some wild mountains called the Chartreuse, belonging to his diocese, and himself conducted them thither. After having there led an eremitical life for several years; Bruno was summoned to Rome by Urban II who had been his disciple. In the great trials through which the Church was then passing, the Pontiff gladly availed himself of the saint’s prudence and knowledge for some years, until Bruno, refusing the archbishopric of Reggio,obtained leave to retire.

Attracted by the love of solitude he went to a desert place near Squillace in Calabria. Count Roger of Calabria was one day hunting, when his dogs began to bark round the saint’s cave. The Count entered and found Bruno at his prayers, and was so struck by his holiness, that thenceforward he greatly honoured him and his companions and supplied their wants. His generosity met with its reward. A little later, when this same Count Roger was besieging Capua, and Sergius, an officer of his guard, had determined to betray him, Bruno, who was still living in his desert, appeared to the Count in sleep, revealed the whole treason to him, and thus saved him from imminent peril. At length, full of virtues and merits, and as renowned for holiness as for learning, Bruno fell asleep in our Lord, and was buried in the monastery of St. Stephen built by Count Roger, where he is greatly honoured to this day.


May we be helped by the intercession of St. Bruno, Thy Confessor, O Lord, we beseech Thee, so that we who by our evil deeds have grievously offended Thy Majesty, may by his merits and prayers obtain forgiveness of our sins. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

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