Tag Archives: Carthusian Order




Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order, was born at Cologne [in 1030]. From boyhood, he was distinguished for his gravity of manner and his desire for solitude. He was sent by his parents to Paris, where he made such progress in the studies of philosophy and theology that he earned degrees of master and doctor in both branches. Not long afterwards, on account of his extraordinary virtues, he was appointed a canon at the church at Rheims.


After the Order of Carthusians had been founded, when he had led the life of a hermit in it for several years, he was summoned to Rome by Blessed Urban II, who had been his disciple. For a number of years, the Pope made use of his advice and learning in the many difficulties of the time, until the man of God, after having declined appointment as Archbishop of Rheims, received permission to depart. He again sought a solitude where, full of virtue and merits, he fell asleep in the Lord [in 1101].


May we be aided by the intercession of St Bruno, your Confessor, we beseech you, O Lord; that we, who have grievously offended your Majesty by sin, may, by his merits and prayers, obtain forgiveness for our offences. Through our Lord…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964



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St Hugh of Lincoln, Memorial: November 16

“A leading figure in the 12th century proto-Renaissance, Hugh of Lincoln has enjoyed a spectacular historical decline, going from being one of the most famous saints in English history at one point to a virtual unknown today.

He was born in Avalon in Southern France around 1135. His father was the local lord and soldier, who later retired to a monastery near Grenoble.

Hugh’s mother died when he was sent to boarding school, becoming a religious novice at 15 and a deacon four years later.

In 1159, Hugh was sent to a nearby Benedictine monastery in Saint-Maximin, after which he left the order to enter the Grande Chartreuse, the head monastery of the Carthusian order, just outside Grenoble.

A famously austere environment

In this famously austere environment he rose to become procurator, before being sent to With am Charterhouse priory in Somerset, the first of the Carthusian houses in England.

At the time, the kingdom was part of the Anjevin Empire of Henry II, who, despite introducing the jury system, is probably best remembered for the murder of St Thomas Becket, by four knights. As part of his penance Henry established a Carthusian charterhouse (it was either that or go on crusade).

Riddled with problems

The project was riddled with the sort of problems that afflict building work, with one prior having to retire and the second dying soon after. It was at this point that Hugh was called for to sort things out. Eventually, after some string-pulling, Hugh got the things fixed, and in January 1182 a charter of foundation was endowed. Four years later he ran the house, attracting many recruits and visitors, including the king.

Then, in 1186, he was chosen as Bishop of Lincoln, a role in which he excelled. Generous and kind to his flock, he was also firm in standing up to the Crown. He also helped to improve education in the country and protected the Jews of Lincoln during the persecution that begun during the Lionheart’s reign.

He also rebuilt Lincoln Cathedral, which had been damaged in 1186, and consecrated St Giles’s in Oxford in 1200. But he was also overworked, taking on the thankless task of being a diplomat for the new king, Richard’s appalling brother, John, and he died on November 16 1200.

Canonised 20 years later, St Hugh was very well known in the later medieval period but became less so after the Reformation.

He is the patron of sick children, shoemakers and swans.”

– This article was published in the Catholic Herald newspaper, issue November 14 2014. For subscriptions please visit (external link)



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Born at Cologne about 1030, Bruno was ordained and for many years ran the Cathedral school of Rheims. Because of difficulties with the Archbishop, he was forced to leave, and turned to the religious life. He felt called to a life of asceticism and solitude, and retired to the mountains near Grenoble with a few companions. From their community grew the Carthusian Order. Bruno was summoned back to Rome by the pope, but after a few years retired to Calabria, where he founded a new monastery. He died in 1101.


you called Saint Bruno to serve you in solitude.
In answer to his prayers
help us to remain faithful to you
amid the changes of this world.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


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