Monastic History

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Monastic History Class, Organizing the Benedictine Order

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So we were talking yesterday about the new orders and we're going to finish them today and we may quit early. We won't start Cistercians and we'll just start, we'll do that next week. We'll see how far I can get through this. We're talking about the process of organizing the Benedictines or grouping them together, all the monasteries who followed the rule of Benedict and starting to think of them as an order as such, Benedictine order. And because of what was happening in other before movements at that time, predominantly amongst Cistercians and seeing that it was working, they decided, look, we've got to organize the Benedictines or all these other monks, these autonomous houses, somehow organize them in this line in order to get the program together.


And I mentioned what the Fourth Lateran Council of the day... In 1516. Twelve the fifteenth. Twelve fifteenth. Fifteen sixteenth. You were closer to Trent. I knew that. But they came out with these decrees, which was all fine and dandy, but I pointed out just at the end of class why they really were more or less ineffective. The popes immediately following Innocent the Third. So between Innocent the Third and Innocent the Fourth, there were some popes, and they all kept trying to implement, trying to hone it down a little bit more, and it didn't work. We get to Innocent the Fourth, who died in 1254. He ruled from 1243 to 1254.


When he came into power, he said, enough, basta, we end this, the monks are no longer obliged to go to their annual chapters, and everything that the chapters decided during this time, this whole interval, is gone. Void, null and void, back to ground zero with Innocent the Fourth. Not quite so innocent as it would seem. And he was forced to do that. There was such problems, such anger, such chaos, that the best way he saw was just to start over again, just to end it. He didn't really start over again, he ended it, and it didn't get started again until the next century, Benedict the Twelfth, who died in 1342, he ruled how long?


He ruled about nine years. So during that nine year period, and he was a member of an order. He was a Cistercian, and he wanted order, and he believed in the Cistercian way. And so he says, you will have provincial chapters, and a new foundation, with my plan to renovate the orders, and he issued his bowl, Sumi Magistri, for the Benedictines of the world, which contained the exact thing that Innocent the Third had said. He just repeated it, started over again. But, filling in all the blanks that caused problems. Okay, what did he come up with?


For the Benedictines, at this point in history, there are 36 provinces, these are they. Dot dot dot dot dot. If you are in this province, you belong to that province, and you have to get together with the rest of the province. Dot dot dot dot. All abbots and priors, that is, priors if it's not an abbey, it's a priory. All Benedictine superiors gather within their province every three years. If you do not show up, dot dot dot, I mean, he had a cover, he had the bases covered. Dot dot dot dot dot. And they might find themselves out of office if they don't show up. So, I mean, they showed up, more or less. At these provincial chapters, you're going to talk about monastic observance, you're going to hone things down, you're going to reform, and you're going to come out with some nitty gritty decrees that I want to see in print.


At these chapters, you will elect visitators who will go to the houses within the province during that three-year period, and they will do dot [...] dot, and they must report dot dot dot everything, nicely mapped out. You will also have an annual chapter, in which each motherhouse calls back all of its delegates from all of its priories and dependencies, and they work on, on a lower level, they work on the same type of arrangement, getting things together in order. And he also, this same pope, issued an encyclical on studies for monks, studies. That is, each monastery must provide a teacher for the young monks. It is church law.


Under this pope. So obviously, there was a problem. Obviously, there were houses that didn't have any formation, didn't have any classes, didn't have any training, just were there. And that wasn't very enough for a Cistercian pope. Very enough, very much, for a Cistercian pope. At no bad mood. One out of every 20 monks you have in your community, so one out of every 20, must be sent to university, for university studies, for advanced education in theology and canon law. Tell me when it gets warm enough. Needless to say, having to make all of this legislation indicates there's some real problems


in the monasteries going on, that he's trying to correct. That is, that there were abbots who weren't doing anything, there were places that didn't have abbots that should have had, and there were places that had abbots who shouldn't have been abbots. There was a lack of education and formation. Probably still some indiscriminate recruiting going on, that is, you want to be a novice? Okay, this day is your novitiate, and tomorrow you profess and go to work. That type of thing. A lot of abuse going on in these centuries in that regard. And yet still, there are still problems. Still problems, after all this stuff in the Cistercian Pope, he didn't cover all the bases. He covered most of the real obvious ones.


But one problem was that there were only 36 provinces. Now that sounds like, what? 36 sounds like a big number for Benedictine houses. But this is the whole then known world, and some of those provinces were huge in area. And the monasteries were too poor to pay just for the trip for the superior and delegate to go to the general chapter and that. They didn't have the money to pay for it. So, monetary problems. When abbots were away, they discovered that some of these things, some of the local nobles would ransack the abbey, would attack the abbey a little bit, or bishops would come in and steal things or take over. And so it was hard to have the abbots away. You still, even though you're more or less out of feudalism by this time, you're certainly


breaking out of it in the 14th century. I mean, we're going to talk about guilds and all this going on. The whole mercantile world is blooming. There's still some of these throwbacks to feudalism and the whole business about thinking of abbeys as money and property above all. Another problem they kept running into, and this was certainly faunting. The pope's authority, lay rulers in various countries, and bishops within the church in various countries forbade the abbots and priors to go to these pope-ordered meetings for whatever reasons. Who cares what the pope says? Don't do it. We forbid you to do this. If you do this, we will rip down your walls and loot your monastery. Visitators, for the most part at this point in history, couldn't get anywhere because


the abbots would ignore what the visitators ordered them to do, even though they had papal authority. So there's not a lot of respect for the pope at this time. I mean, he's the nominal head and he's got an army and whatnot, but when you're far enough away, it doesn't hurt too much to say, and that's what's happening. That's the biggest problem. And everybody's doing this, from the abbots to the lay rulers to the bishops, everybody but the pope. The pope is saying, no, we do this. So obviously during this, this is a time of decline for Benedictinism. Even though there are plenty of good reforms and whatnot just ushering us into this time, and some of them during it, the general picture is not a good one. We've already passed that golden age of Cluny, and we really won't hit another humongous


golden age until the 16th century. For Benedictines, that is. You will have moments here and there, and large numbers involved in that, but still, the overall general picture is it's going to take centuries to get their program together. That's what you get when you have people who are living a tradition that goes back centuries and centuries and centuries before you get to a point where you're trying to centralize them, put them under authority of that. There wasn't a lot of flexibility for this particular institution. And the newer orders that started out that way, flexible regarding apostolate and so on, flexible regarding how they were structured and ordered themselves, and it was exciting, and they kept themselves clean by having visitators and provincial chapters and whatnot.


It worked. And so the Mendicant orders at this point come to the rise, and then these newer monastic orders come to the rise, and they work, and this is their golden age, and the monks just sort of hang on. Some of them nicely so, and others degenerately so. And some of them die out. Okay. Number six. Saint Sylvester Gazzolini. Now we're just going to backtrack a little bit. We're going back to the late 12th century and into the 13th century. Gazzolini was a hermit. Here's another hermit. Famous hermit. And he built a monastery in 1231 at Monte Fano. And we've both seen that at least, huh? It's right near Fano, not too far.


On the main highway from Fano to Fonte Atalana, where it goes through the long Galleria, through the mountains, they call it Galleries, Galleria. Like an art gallery, the same word can mean a tunnel through a mountain in Italy. And it's beautiful. It's right off this one slope as you go through. Anyway, so it was close to one of our own places, Monte Giova. At least later on it's going to be our place. It becomes our place, I think, in the 16th century. I think before that it belonged to one or other of the, maybe the Monte Corona for a little while. And before that, maybe one of the other splinter groups that wasn't yet a Malcolm. It's going to take the Kamalis a long time to get their program together too. By his death, I mean a very, very gifted and holy man who had some skills in administrative abilities.


He got his program together. By the time he died, there were 12 thriving houses in his movement, which becomes the Silvestrian Benedictines. And we have Silvestrian Benedictines in this country. Does anyone know where? Oxford, Michigan. And I think they have another house down south. Oxford, Michigan though is the new one. They used to wear blue habits, like our work jackets. Dark navy blue. Even as Benedictines, this early part of this century, they wore dark blue Benedictine habits. There it goes. That's enough. Okay.


Silvestrians, they were very poor. And maybe that's one reason they made it. I mean, we're talking about a time where poverty is going to be considered one of the wonderful things to be living. And Benedictines really started out nicely and with great fervor and fire because they embraced lady poverty. And that bonded them with the common people. And the common church. Not so much with the power that existed. So life was very severe for them, but they made it. They were a fine movement. They had lifetime priors in their houses. So they didn't go through a lot of different elections every three or six years or whatever. You were abbot or prior. You did it until you died. And then the community would vote on another one. And the prior of Montefano itself was set up as the general of this.


So it's a congregational system right from the beginning. Which still exists as a congregation. Peter Morant. Above all, my favorite monastic saint. He is a hermit. A very gifted man. Who was the Ignatio Silone? The Italian writer. Did a wonderful book which I read in Italian before I came here to try to teach myself Italian. On this man. And there have been some other novels and fable type things written on this man. He just did that type of mythic character. And you'll see why. He's the one who is a very holy hermit.


And just like other holy hermits living in caves, actually, in the beginning. Inside of a mountain. Drew others around him before they knew it. Had a nice flock of hermits living in caves. And later, you know, huts and houses and what not. And it became a loosely knit group of hermits around him. And all they had for their set up was the RV. We've got the rule of Benedict, that's enough. And Peter lived a long time. I don't have his date set. He lived like 90 years or something like that. That's the date of his death probably, 1274. The church was in a, we're coming up to the point where,


do you remember who's the Pope in 1300? Unam Sanctam. 1301, 1300. Boniface VIII, the great big Machiavelli of the papal order. He follows up this man. They elect this hermit off the mountain as Pope. As an old man, he's an old decrepit man. Extremely holy. And they elect him because they could not decide on a Pope. So they said, let's elect somebody with great renown, great holiness, and old, who won't live very long. Until we can get our program together. And so they did that. And they didn't know what they were getting. Because when Celestine V comes to power, he decides that now he's Pope, he might as well act like it. And so he didn't have, he was a pea, not in the Myers-Briggs,


took the hilt, you know, like he couldn't order anything. And so it's just a mess. And he was a Pope all of like three months or five months. And he resigned. He's the Pope who resigned. Such a sad story. I mean, and he was a gifted, holy, holy man. Everybody just loved him. But the Vatican at this time, or the College of Cardinals, were more like a den of vipers than even common people. And bishops and whatnot loved this man. And the cardinals were, it was all hateful, awful, dirty politics going on. And Celestine started enacting some reforms and whatnot. Sort of like half, I almost said half, what else can I say? Half-baked.


Half-baked situations. Because he couldn't follow them through. He couldn't order himself. He didn't have enough J in him. And, you know, when you're a Pope, you've got to have some J. Or at least surround yourself with powerful people who do. And he just sort of beamed. At first beamed and then was very, very sad by the end of the three months or five months, whatever it was. And when he resigned, he was sort of talked into it. It seems to me it was Boniface VIII who came to power again. And he blocked him out. We don't know how he died. The story is he died in a broken heart. He was put in house arrest. And he never got out of it. And he died that year.


He could very well have been poisoned. A number of Popes were poisoned during these centuries. And they could have happened. He was later canonized. I mean, the man's sanctity was evident to anyone. It's just unfortunately he wasn't meant to be a Pope, to wield that kind of power. He didn't want to take it to begin with. But they sort of forced him. Not sort of. They forced him to do it. So it's an unusual chapter in papal history. Certainly unique. Here you have, we actually have precedent of a Pope resigning. But there was a Pope who resigned. And he was a hermit. A hermit Pope. Anyway, this congregation that he had set up, becomes known, obviously, after he becomes a Pope and dies,


as the Celestines. And they become a congregation within the Benedictine Order. The Celestine Congregation. And they have an Abbot General and priors, just like the Celestines. Except they decided to limit the offices. That no one should have to do that for a whole lifetime. And so they had set up sporadic or regular elections for superiors. And there was a general chapter for all the priors of all the Celestine houses. Every year. Every year. An annual chapter. Number eight. Bernard Ptolemy, now we're going back into the 14th century, let me just backtrack a little bit. Became a hermit. Here's another one. Another hermit, and he was on Mount Olivet.


Bernard Ptolemy. And we celebrate him on our calendar. Bernard Ptolemy. And here's another. It's the same round robin. People flock around him. Before he knows it, he has this whole collection of hermits living with him. They organize themselves. They build a monastery in the year 1319. And that's Mount Olivet, I think. And they used to rule Benedict. And within 25 years, there are 10 thriving monasteries in this congregation. And they have a set up, they have an Abbot General,


just like these other groups that have set up. But they decided that every year, the Abbot General has to resign. Every year. And at that time, they can reelect him, or they can elect somebody else. That is, the other priors. And a man can be elected up to three times. That is, no one can be Abbot General longer than three years. That's it. So nobody was put on too much, and put upon to shoulder the administration of this community, or this congregation. Everybody had to do manual labor. Silence was perpetual. Very, very strict poverty. Very strict asceticism. This was really a renewal, a reform movement. And they still exist today. These are the Olivetans. Olivetan congregation of the Benedictine Order.


And we have Olivetans where? Mount Savior? No. Mount Savior isn't anything. Mount Savior is one of those special houses like, what's the one in Vermont? That's an independent prior. What's the name of it? Weston. Weston. And the one in Jerusalem, Dormition Abbey. All of those are directly under the Abbot Primate, whoever he is, at any given time. Just like Mount, what is the one near Albuquerque? Pentecost. No. Christ in the Desert. Christ in the Desert, huh? Which is a foundation of Mount Savior originally. That's also, or was originally, I don't know if they've changed it yet. The Abbot, the American Abbot Primate, the new one's trying to have all these people clean up their acts and join one congregation or the other. And be done with it. Aren't the Pentecost guys, aren't they Olivetans? Pentecost is Olivetan, right.


Now that's why they wear a white habit now. Because Olivetans are white habit, like us. There was a house within the last ten years because I met them at various workshops and stuff. In Louisiana, it's now gone. I thought we had it in New Jersey at one time. Oh, it could have been. I don't know of that. The guys up north, though, were not. Not new to them. No, no. They're black, I think. Yeah. They're not. They are the big missionary group out of Otillion. They're Otillion variation. That's Benedictine missionary group. That and Schuyler, Nebraska, is Otillion. Okay. We're in the 20th century. Let's go back. Conversi. Conversi. We've talked about Conversi already. These are what later become known in the 20th century as the May Brothers. It's a different vocation within the monastic lifestyle.


They had Conversi in other orders, too. It wasn't just monastic. It really starts with the monastics. These two people are not famous Conversi. These are famous reformers. We're talking about reform here. And we've met both of those people already that I've talked about. Conversi in the beginning, and for the beginnings, you really have to look at Kamaldiles. You have to look at Peter Damian and Romuald. So the Avalaniti and the Kamaldilesi are the ones who really started it. In a certain way. It didn't become immediately what we came to see as Conversi, but they started it. And so for saints like Romuald and Peter Damian, who had Conversi in their houses, Conversi means that a person who's come to the monastery at a later age.


What does that mean? It could be 16. It could be 18. What it means is you weren't there as a child and going through the schooling of the monastery and that sort of thing. So that would mean all of us here are Conversi. In Peter Damian and Romuald's original intent, people like Emanuele and Innocenzo, who came at six and eight and went into the school. Our Kamaldile, this semester, this century, still had a school for boys, and there would be little monks, and they wore little habits. I have photos in my cell of kids who own little Kamaldi's habits. We don't have those anymore. But those were considered just the normal run-of-the-mill vocation.


But the Conversi were anyone who didn't go through that. That was the regular thing. And so the ones who came later were the Conversi. Well, that changes very quickly, but that's how it started out in our own tradition. Because before you know it, you're calling Conversi all the different categories of workers you have around you, whether they want to be in the monastic life or not, and they all end up being called Conversi. Or, because most of these workers for these centuries couldn't write their name, Conversi came to be Illiterati, so the unlearned ones. Would the monks who entered at the age of three to six be real monks, and they would be so-called wire monks? Oh, real monks. Well, they're not considered real monks. Until, actually, they are old enough to go through an Abhishek. They're just like in the monastic school. Would there be a distinction later on between them and the Conversi?


Or would the Conversi go through a regular Abhishek? Oh, no, they had to go through, yeah. But the distinction for the early Kemalites was one of word, more than anything else. But before long, within the 12th and 13th centuries, comes to mean something quite different than what it originally meant. And, some of Peter Damian's houses, some of Rommel's foundations, had workers doing a lot of the work, as the Hermanns did, whatever. And those would not necessarily have been known as Conversi, because they were just working. I mean, they were workers there, attached to, they were monks. They didn't want to be monks, they weren't intended to be monks.


So they probably wouldn't have used that word. And yet, in the Cistercians, and in all the other orders, just a couple blocks down the road, that's exactly what it's going to mean. It's any kind of lay people who are around and working. So it means different things to different people. I was reading about some Irish monastics, and they spoke of married men who would have been attached to a monastery called lay monks, but they would be a completely different type of thing. Is that Celtic? Yes. Oh God, everything's different in Celtic monastics. Yeah, that would be totally different. That would be foreign to what, yeah. Fascinating though, Celtic monasticism is fascinating. We have about four or five books on Celtic monasticism in English. So later, as I said, lay people who, like lay retainers,


who are like our workers, for instance, would be called conversi. Now, down the road, what we're going to get is sort of a cross between. The conversi, or the conversus, the single one, becomes a person who's known for working, but also wants to live the monastic life and wears some kind of habit. And they end up with their own office, which is less than the other ones are doing, so that they can work more. And often it's in their own vernacular language rather than the Latin, because they don't know Latin, and they don't want to be choir monks. They just, you know, so either that, or they know enough Latin to do Aves and Panteres, and so their office is mostly Aves and Panteres, and three or four litanies, or something like that. We were just saying Oro, Apolo, Ovis. Something that they can memorize and not be too put off by,


like they would have with the Latin chant and all of that. In the year 1000, so we're talking before Peter, Daniel, and Ronald had their thriving houses going. Well, Ronald had some of his going by that time. The Einzidon, which is that place we've talked about, remember in Switzerland, St. Meinrad, the hermit, and they built a place on his grave. They had what they called in their constitutions, Conversi laici, lay conversi. That is lay retainers who are not religious. So just workers, like us, workers. Those would be conversi laici. Excuse me.


Their connection to the monastery is very loose. It's a working one. It's a working relationship. At Fonte Avalana, they were not called conversi because Peter Damian understood conversi in a Cluniac sense. So what I'm pointing out is that in the beginning, it meant different things all over the place. So don't assume when you read conversus by one of these people that they're meaning the same thing, conversi, that they're meaning the same thing. Generally speaking, they mean something other than the normal choir monk, but that could be five or six different categories. Clunii had what they called famuli. Famuli. Famuli, and that means that they serve the monastery. They're sort of half monks, but they don't take vows as such.


They sort of make like an oblation or promises or something. But you don't take official church vows. You're not bound by any of that. So it's a very tenuous thing. Peter the Venerable, so the last biggie of Clunii, will change that by his day. He will do what the Cistercians are doing regarding the Lay Brothers, which by that time is developed into Lay Brothers. That's what we're talking about. Anyway, the whole development of conversi into what they become for centuries and centuries down to our own pre-Vatican two days was brought about by these two men, St. Ulrich and Blessed William. Blessed William of Hirsau we met, remember? He's the one who is the abbot of Hirsau,


and he gets the three volumes of the customary of Clunii and says, hey, this is great. He writes his own Consuetudinus Hirgausensis and his model on Clunii. So he's tied up with Clun. And Ulrich is the one who wrote those Constitutions at Clunii. So Ulrich is Clunii's man, whom they send out as a propagandist and a roaming reformer and whatnot. And these two worked on this defining and honing down this conversi business. And the prescriptions they come up with basically lays the whole foundation in which all the later legislation is going to, what it's going to say about conversi. And that ushers in and prepares the road for what the Cistercians do. And the Cistercians are the ones who bring about conversi


like we know what they were down to the 20th century. Lay brothers within the community, but a whole different category. By the 20th century, there were definitely categories and fighting with one another and paranoia about the other category. The category is priests and brothers. Priests and brothers. The priests have all the power and all the rights and they have chapter votes. And the lay brothers don't have a vote. They don't have a vote. They don't take vows. They take vows, but they don't take solemn vows. I guess it gives you a chapter vote. They take perpetual vows, which means the same thing, but you have no rights. And there were on both sides, I mean, there are plenty, I knew plenty of lay brothers who didn't want to change with Félicitude.


They didn't want to go in a chapter. They didn't want votes. They didn't want rights. They didn't want to go into choir and be a whole community together. They liked the little off side, on the side type thing. Some of them were real masochists who liked being subjugated, and so you had a lot of problems. Right around the time of Vatican II, you lost so many in all categories, but a lot of lay brothers left because what they joined and had lived for 40 years when I was totally changed and they didn't want, they didn't join them to do the other thing. Anyway, when we get to Cistercians, we'll probably talk about converse. Canons regular. Canons regular. Basically, what we're talking about is groups of clerics, and we've seen groups of clerics already gathering around cathedrals


in much earlier centuries. Just think of Augustine and Caesarius and all these, what is that other big early one in France? Oratorios. Pardon? Oratorios. No, early ones that are talking like fourth century, third century in Gaul. He's the father of the, Hilary of Poitiers, and these various people gathered priests around them in their chapel, and they were really, they were loosely knit groups of canons. Around this time, you get these, a lot of these groups that are, there's lots of them, banding together and becoming whole orders, and these orders are made up of various cathedral groupings that have grouped around the cathedral, and canons usually carried on the office within the cathedral with the people or in the name of the diocese,


and there's certain groupings of clerics and priests that have developed over the centuries. Various groups of hermits who come together and join into these new orders of canons, so they're going to have some hermits in their group. Also, certain hospital groups that have been taken care of, sick and whatnot. They all come together into these new orders, and in order to what? In order to live a regular life. Well, what do I mean by that? Regular. They're going to put themselves under a rule, and so they're called canons regular, and they chose the rule of Augustine as their rule because they're not, they're monastic and they're not monastic. They have a lot of active apostolates, they're interested in other things besides living in a cloister and, you know, ora et labora. There's plenty else that goes into


and become canons, canon orders. And so they choose the rule of Augustine, which is much more general, much more flexible, and the rule of Augustine is used by all kinds of congregations and groupings of nuns and sisters. Many of them chose that because they didn't want to specify anything, basically, and so leave a general, let's take the rule of Augustine. The big groups of canons become this group, these groups here, the Augustinians, the Victorines, the Croziers, or canons of the Holy Cross, the Premonstratentions, or the Norbertines, because they're founded by St. Norbert. And a number of the double monasteries that exist or that form after this time will attach themselves to these groups


in one way or another. And become canons. And generally they're sort of like half monastic. They're sort of semi-monastic. They live a communal life, but they're doing apostolic work. They're sort of like what most American Benedictine houses are today. Parishes, chaplaincies, running schools, and yet you still have a big monastery there. That's what they do. And 12th century, 13th, 12th, end of the 12th, beginning of the 13th was a great time for these huge, and they were huge, orders that developed. That these canons developed. And they're going to be coming to the fore just before the Mendicant orders come in. And their accent on poverty most likely historically fed into


the Mendicant embrace of poverty as one of the mainstays of their life. One other aspect to remember about canons and then we don't really have to remember much else is that we're talking priests. Those are very, very clerical orders. Very clerical. So these are groupings of priests. That's how they started out, these groupings of priests. Unlike the Benedictines, what are now known as Benedictines, our orders started out not clerical at all. Not at all. In fact, you had to be careful, priests in the monastery, or how many you'd take in, or how many would become priests, and all that sort of thing. It was questions for the early centuries, monastics. So it just sort of gets in the way


for the early monastics. What do we need a priest for other than, you know, somebody's got to celebrate the mysteries, but, you know, and that's the seedbed of monastics, essentially lay vocation. Well, of course, during the centuries, it became more and more and more clericalized until the 20th century. Now you have a lot of young Benedictines all over the country who are up in arms and who are fighting their own abbeys by refusing to study theology or refusing to get ordained after they studied theology in order to make this point. So there's a real polemic going on in the States here regarding clericalization of Benedictines. Now I've noticed that you have a whole other wave coming in who are all, you know, they're like 16-inch pontiffs. And so the pendulum swung the other way, and now you have those two fighting and the young group who are doing the declericalization thing,


they're already in their 30s and 40s and they're, you know, up in the community ranks. The young ones are clerical again. Bruno, Saint Bruno. Not our Bruno, Boniface, but Bruno. Bruno was a very, very famous chancellor and teacher of the Diocese of Reims. That's Reims with an H. And he was a very celebrated professor and he was the teacher of a future pope, Pope Urban II. And he was also, by the way, parenthetically, one of these. He was a canon. Not a canon and an order as such,


but one of these groupings of canons in a cathedral situation. And he was in the Cathedral of Reims. One of these priests that have sort of flocked together and they sort of live a loosely knit communal life and they do the office in the cathedral and whatnot. And yet they're out doing their, running their careers, ecclesiastical careers. We're not talking about an order of canons. He was just canon before they become big orders. And in 1084, he joined the hermits who were living in the woods at Collon near the abbey of Molheim. Molheim is going to be very, very important to us when we talk about the Cistercians because who follows the Cistercian order but Benedictine abbot Robert of Molheim and basically three others.


Anyway, he's near Molheim. He joins this little group of hermits down there. He brought two companions with him because they had talked about this. In fact, he used to talk about these ideals in Reims. He was famous for that. And there were a whole group of people, some who came later and joined him, who were fired up by his idea of how we could live a whole different monastic life. His first two companions who joined him in the woods there ended up joining Molheim. But as I say, Molheim is going to be very, very central. Lots of things are happening there, too. They joined Molheim, and they probably joined the Cistercians shortly afterwards. It was in their lifetime that that whole thing happened, off Molheim. Bruno went to Grenoble.


So that's in the mountains, in the Alps. So it's in the Alps, a real harsh, rugged country, with six other companions, where he receives permission to make a foundation, an enthusiastic foundation, and he gets some land from the Bishop of Grenoble, Hugh, who is Saint Hugh of Grenoble. And they find one of the worst, inaccessible mountain passes as possible, to locate it there so that no one can make it up there. And they won't be bothered by anybody. And each monk lives in a cabin with a little oratory attached to the cabin, in strict seclusion. Each one in strict seclusion. Six years later,


and they had a very hard life in those six years, Urban, his former pupil, and now is Pope Urban II, says, I remember you, and you're not going to live out there. You're going to come to Rome and be my advisor. And Bruno is not at all happy, but he goes in obedience to Rome, to be the Pope's advisor. He never again saw his foundation in France, which is La Chartreuse. Excuse me, it's feminine. La Chartreuse. And he never goes back. He never sees it again. But while he's in Italy, badgers Urban back and forth about, well, let me build a foundation somewhere here in Italy so that at least once in a while I can get there and live what I was living in France.


And he allows him to go to Calabria, a godforsaken place in Calabria, and builds another one, La Torre, which is famous also, becomes famous. And he used to go there periodically just for contemplative reading space. And it's actually where he died in the year 1101. Do I have the dates on them? Yeah, 1101. And Bruno, what did he leave behind? He left no order as such. He left a couple groupings of monks. More than a couple, but two biggies. No rule, no doctrine. And as I say, there was no order as such. Order with a capital O. We don't know the Carthusians yet by the time he's dead. But their third general of this grouping,


before it becomes an official order as such. Or maybe it was already official shortly after Bruno's death. I probably don't remember. But his name was Lambert. Set up the constitution. The consuetudiness. So it's more like the customaries rather than the constitutions. The customs. Consuetudiness. Which organized the group as such. And when you're going to become a norder, you've got to have some document like that to show the holy apostolic scene or you don't become a norder. Whether you take a rule and say, well, this is our rule. Or you drop your own motus vivendi and put it on paper and hand that in. Like Francis did. At least in some fashion you have to do that.


On paper. It won't swing. It won't go. But the real legislator down the road is going to be Guigo I, who really gets things organized and everything written out and everything approved. And he's the one as such who really comes through with the full consuetudiness. You get the preliminaries with Lambert, with Guigo you get what becomes the customary. And that basically has been unchanged throughout the centuries. Their motto is non qua reformata via non qua deformata. We've never had to be reformed because we never have a reason to be reformed. We're never deformed. In this day and age, even the general of the order


would say something quite different. Because there is talk about at least having a number of the priest members of the Carthusian order psychologically helped. High incidence of mental disease among the ones who are actually living the total enclosure type thing all the time, rather than the brothers who live together a semi-canonical life. The brothers are healthy, evidently, but a lot of the priest members aren't. So this is not holy anymore. So what does this do? The customs basically bring together elements of the Desert Fathers tradition, Saint Jerome, and the Rue Vendée.


They bring various things together into what becomes the consuetudiness. I don't think I put that word in. Well, we've met it before. What does it do? Well, it brings the aramidical and the cenobitical ideals together. The brothers become the cenobites and the priests become the aramites. You have matins and logs and vespers together, but you're in your cell for work. You work in your cell. You have a very austere diet. The rest of the prayer is done privately in your cell, which is really usually a four-room, double-floored cabin. The conversi, by the way, become the brothers, the cenobites of this, within the charter houses. They call their houses charter houses in English.


The English word for it is charter house. In Italian, it's chertosa. Chertosa. Every moment of their life is regulated by bells or knocks. There's a certain time you kneel down and say three Hail Marys. Just everything, everything is regulated. You're alone doing it, but it's completely regulated. The prior of the grand charters and friends is the head of the order, prior general. And throughout the centuries, there were a number of members who were very, very, very famous scholars, very key to patristic studies. And Regal II is not one of them. Regal II is one who wrote The Ladder for Monks. That's another scholar, Perfecciones. He's not a scholar as such, and he's a writer.


It's a nice work. I put up there the typical monastic work that we would read by a Carthusian. But these are the scholars, these five, the main deans. Dennis the Carthusian, Ludolf the Carthusian, both extremely, you're going to run across this in patristic studies and church history. You're going to run into their names all along. Surius and Lanspergius. You might see English variants of those names. Surrey and Lansberg, something like that. These two are extremely important also. This is a modern. Gustave Guilleron. He died in what, 50-something, 60-something? And he writes all these books on Carthusian spirituality and stuff


that you would run into in a library by an anonymous monk. They never signed their works. And so contemporary works, a lot of these were done by Augustin. I don't know who they have now who's really into writing. These are their famous ones. April, so we do Cistercians next Monday. Next week we have class Monday, and Thursday is normal. Holy Week, not. Holy Week we will have class, but on different days. Bruno's class is done, right? So we'll have different days, and I'll get back to you on that next week. Monday and Thursday? Wednesday. This is the normal. Oh, the normal. Yeah. Wednesday.