St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusians

We have a special fondness around here for St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian order of monks and nuns. Highly educated in his youth, Bruno taught theology and one of his students later became Pope Urban II. Following a vision, he retired to the mountains in Grenoble where he founded a contemplative order known as the Carthusians (this original house is known as the Grande Chartreuse and is the setting for the documentary Into Great Silence).

Why our fondness for this 11th Century contemplative monk?

Our two-year sojourn in Austria was in the shadow of a former Carthusian monastery — the Kartause Maria Thron was once an active community of monks but Emperor Joseph II (1741-1790) ordered that all “unnecessary” religious orders disband. Because the Carthusian charism is one of study and prayer, the Gaming monastery was placed in this category and closed. [Years ago I wrote an article for the NCRegister about the Kartause, our home for two years]. The monastery was allowed to be pillaged and lay in ruins until Architect Hildebrand began its renovation in the late 20 century. (NOTE: the graphic in the prayer card above is of the part of renovated ceiling in the main Church on the grounds).

Kartause Maria Thron (late 1500s), Gaming, Austria

Here is a painting of the Kartause from the late 1500s that shows the Kartause in all its glory. Our house was the second on the right from the big Church area. We loved our time in Austria … we loved our chance to “get to know” St. Bruno … we still cherish those times and pray to St. Bruno often for all the people we left behind when we came back to the States.

St. Bruno, please pray for us all!

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