Bruno The Carthusian

c.1030-1101. Founder of the Order. He was born in Cologne, where he began his studies at St. Cunibert and completed them at Reims. A canon of Reims, he taught arts and theology, becoming master of the schools (1056), then chancellor of the archdiocese (c.1075). Having no secular ambitions, he twice refused a bishopric and sided with Gregory VII against clerical decadence. He left Reims about 1082 for a monastic life, going first to Sèche-Fontaine. He found the cenobitic* vocation not sufficiently solitary and moved on to the Chartreuse where with a few clerics and laymen he lived the eremitic life, without a rule. Unintentionally, the Carthusian Order was founded by 1084 with the aid of the bishop, Hugh of Grenoble. The Chartreuse site, high above sea level with rugged mountains and severe climate, guaranteed silence, poverty, and small numbers. The first Carthusians combined the cenobitic and solitary without reference either to Benedictine or Camaldolese practices. In 1090 Urban II, a former pupil, called him to S Italy for counsel; there he founded the hermitage Santa Maria of La Torre, where he died. His works include two letters, being ascetical treatises, a commentary on the Psalter, and perhaps a commentary on the Pauline epistles. Canonization by Leo X is disputed.

See H. Löbbel, Der Stifter des Carthäuser-Ordens (1899); and A. Wilmart, “La Chronique des premiers chartreux,” Revue Mabillon 16 (1926), pp. 77-142.