St. Bruno (Feast: October 6)
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.
DAILY QUOTE for January 18, 2021
One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.