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Bruno, of a prominent family of Cologne, was born in this ancient city around the year 1030. A promising scholar, he studied at the cathedral school of Rheims, and was ordained to the priesthood in his native Cologne.

In 1056 he became a professor of grammar and theology at his former school in Rheims where he taught brilliantly for eighteen years. Many eminent scholars and philosophers studied under him and did him honor throughout Europe, including Eudes de Châtillon, later Pope Urban II, who convoked the First Crusade.

In 1076, he was appointed chancellor of the diocese, and was about to be elected as Archbishop of Rheims when he announced he was retiring into solitude. At first, Bruno placed himself under the direction of Robert of Molesmes, who later was instrumental in the founding of the Abbey of Citeaux.

Later, given land by St. Hugh, the Bishop of Grenoble, he and six other followers settled in the mountainous reaches of Chartreuse where they first build an oratory surrounded by individual cells. Such was the origin of the Order of the Carthusians, which takes its name from Chartreuse.

A great admirer of the Order's founder, Bishop Hugh made his spiritual retreats at the Chartreuse where he took Bruno for his spiritual father.

Hearing of his sanctity, and personally acquainted with his prudence and knowledge, his former pupil, now Pope Urban II, summoned Bruno to Rome. Although this presented a great trial for the saint, he obeyed, leaving one of his disciples, Landuin, as prior of the Chartreuse.

In Rome Bruno served the Holy Pontiff in various capacities, including helping in the preparation of several synods with the aim of reforming the clergy. Pressed by the pope to accept the archbishopric of Reggio in Calabria, Bruno earnestly excused himself, begging to be allowed to live in solitude. Pope Urban II finally consented that he retire into Calabria, but not so far off as Chartreuse.

With the help of a noble friend, Count Roger, Bruno settled in the valley of La Torre with a few new disciples from Rome. Here he embraced the life of solitude with more joy and fervor than ever. It was here also, that Landuin visited him on behalf of the monks of the Chartreuse. They wished to consult their founder as to the manner in which their monastery should follow more faithfully in the spirit of its founder. Bruno instructed, comforted and urged them to perseverance and blessed them.

As he felt death approaching in 1101, Bruno gathered his monks about him and made a public confession of his life, and a profession of faith, which was lovingly preserved by his spiritual sons. He resigned his soul to God on October 6 in the year 1101.

According to Carthusian custom, which shuns all form of publicity, Bruno was never formally canonized. Nevertheless, in 1514, the Order obtained permission from Pope Leo X to keep Bruno’s feast. In 1674, Pope Clement X extended the commemoration of his feast to the Universal Church.

 


 

 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for January 18, 2021

To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, withou...

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January 18

 

To live without faith,
without a patrimony to defend,
without a steady struggle for truth,
that is not living, but existing.

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassatti


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Prisca

A great eagle appeared above her and protected her body for...

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St. Prisca

There are actually three St. Priscilla’s who lived in the first few centuries of the Church – all of whom were martyrs – and two of them share the same feast day of January 18! It is the virgin martyr St. Prisca that the Church primarily celebrates today though.

Prisca was born of a noble family in Rome during the reign of Claudius II. Most likely a Christian from birth, she was arrested during the persecutions when she was a young teenager and brought before the Emperor for questioning. Despite her youth, Prisca courageously proclaimed and upheld her Catholic Faith, even though she knew that by doing so in those days was ultimately the pronouncement of her own death sentence.

She suffered terrible tortures, one of which was being taken to the arena to be devoured by wild beasts. Rather than devour her though, the lions are said to have licked her feet! Finally, she was taken outside the city walls and beheaded. Legend tells us that when she was martyred, a great eagle appeared above her and protected her body for several days until the Christians were able to retrieve it.

The young martyr was buried in the Catacomb of St. Priscilla - the catacomb named after the St. Priscilla, wife of a Roman senator, who shares the same feast day of January 18 with the child-martyr, Prisca. She is said to have opened her home near the catacomb to Christians and to have befriended St. Peter who used her home as his headquarters in Rome. She was martyred during the reign of Emperor Domitian. As an interesting fact, there is probable speculation that this St. Priscilla was a family relation of the child-martyr St. Prisca, who is buried in her catacomb.

The third  St. Priscilla was a disciple of St. Paul and wife of the Jewish tentmaker, Aquila.

St. Margaret of Hungary

She would have no other bridegroom than Jesus Christ,  and...

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St. Margaret of Hungary

Margaret of Hungary was the daughter of King Bela IV, a champion of Christendom, and Maria Laskarina, a pious Byzantine princess. Bella IV being the brother of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Margaret was the saintly Queen of Hungary’s blood niece.

King Bela and his queen, worried about an impeding Tartar invasion, vowed to dedicate to God the child they were expecting. Bela was victorious over the Tartars, and little Margaret was taken to the Dominican monastery at Vezprem at the age of three.

The child thrived in her new surroundings. By age four she had memorized the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At age ten she was moved to a convent built for her by her father on an island – today named Margaret Island – on the Danube near Buda and there she professed her vows at age twelve.

King Ottokar II of Bohemia having seen Margaret at eighteen years of age, ignoring her religious habit, sought her in marriage. A dispensation would have been possible in this case, and King Bela seemed to favor the prospect for political reasons. Yet, Margaret adamantly refused declaring she would have no other bridegroom than Jesus Christ, and would rather cut off her nose and lips.

Margaret’s was a life of astounding penance, prayer and charity toward the poor. To avoid preferential treatment in the convent because of her royal rank, she sought the most menial tasks to the point that a maid once said that she was humbler than a servant.
Her body worn out by the fatigue of long hours of labor, fasting and prayer, Margaret died at the age of twenty-eight on January 18, 1270. The virtuous princess was universally venerated as a saint from the time of her death.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him h...

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Mary and the Muslim

Don Octavio del Monaco was a wealthy citizen of 17th century Naples. Like many of his class, Don Octavius had several Muslim slaves in his household. These children of Islam were amazed at the kindness of their “master.” He fed and clothed them better than they received in their native land. In return, his slaves attended to their tasks with diligence, as Don Octavius did not over work them, but assigned them duties in keeping with their dignity as children of God.

If these Muslim slaves had any reason for complaint, it was the gentle persistence with which their master and his wife exhorted them to give up their false religion and become Catholics. Don Octavius even went so far as to invite the slaves to join his family in the chapel to worship the one true God with them!

Our story today is about one young slave in particular. His name was Abel, like the slain son of Adam and Eve. He felt drawn in a peculiar way to a lamp that burned in front of a shrine to Holy Mary. Abel would purchase the oil needed to keep the lamp lit from his own meager stipend. As he continued to practice this humble devotion, he would say, “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.”

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. At first the Turk resisted. But she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel, but be baptized and called Joseph,” conferring on him a name that was very dear to her Immaculate Heart indeed.

On August the 10th, 1648, there was much rejoicing in Heaven, for on that day “Joseph” and eleven other Muslims converted to the Christian faith and were baptized. Their conversion was brought about by the kindness shown by Don Octavius and the special intercession of the Mother of God.

Our story does not end here. Even once this son of hers was safely baptized, Mother Mary delighted in visiting him. Once, after having appeared to him, she was about to depart. But the Moor seized her mantle, saying, “Oh, Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let me see you.” In fact, she one day promised him this and when Joseph found himself afflicted he invoked her, and Mary appeared to him again saying, “Have patience", and he was consoled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.

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