Desirous of a more complete solitude than his chancellorship in the Diocese of Rheims, France afforded, Saint Bruno with seven companions had retired to the Alps of Dauphine in 1084. Called to Rome in 1088 as adviser to Pope Blessed Urban II, his former pupil at Rheims, he obtained permission in 1090, to leave the papal court and retire to his retreat, but this time in Calabria. This foundation differed from that of Grenoble in that it resembled the Camaldolese, an order uniting the eremitical and cenobitic modes of monasticism. It lasted till 1191, being then absorbed into the Cistercian Order. That of Grenoble has survived to the present day.

While resembling in some points of rule the Benedictine Order, the Carthusians are distinct in their constitutions and manner of life. They observe an almost perpetual silence and complete abstinence from meat, with a fast once a week on bread and water. Chanting the Divine Office, mental prayer, and manual labor occupy a large part of the day, and studies are not neglected, the Order being traditionally distinguished for the richness of their libraries, maintaining also a modern printing-press at Tournay, Belgium. The rite peculiar to the Carthusian liturgy recalls the usage of the early Church. The Prior of La Grande Chartreuse is always the superior-general. A general chapter meets annually; the first was held in 1152, and its powers were confirmed by Pope Alexander IV in 1258. There are houses in Spain, Italy, England, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Profiled Carthusians

MLA Citation

  • “Carthusians“. CatholicSaints.Info. 24 January 2020. Web. 27 July 2021. <>