Bruno was born in Cologne, Germany, and became a famous teacher at Rheims. He supported Pope Gregory VII in his fight against the decadence of the clergy and took part in the removal of his own scandalous archbishop. Bruno suffered the plundering of his house for his pains. He had a dream of living in solitude and prayer, and persuaded a few friends to join him in a hermitage when he was given some land, which was to become famous for his foundation “in the Chartreuse” (from which comes the name of his order: the Carthusians). The climate, desert, mountainous terrain and inaccessibility guaranteed silence, poverty and small numbers.
Saint Bruno was never formally canonized, because the Carthusians are averse to all occasions of publicity. However Pope Clement X extended his feast to the whole Church in 1674.
The award winning documentary film about the Carthusians, Into Great Silence, is especially worth watching when you are alone and in the mood for quiet contemplation!