04 February 2011

A Man of Sincerity and Religious Zeal

Today the Carthusians celebrate one of their own: Blessed Lanuin, a companion of Saint Bruno, who faithfully followed the Carthusian founder even to his deathbed where Lanuin succeeded him as Prior in Calabria. Like Saint Bruno, Blessed Lanuin was of German heritage. He went with Saint Bruno to Rome when Pope Urban II asked Bruno to be a papal adviser. With Saint Bruno and a few others, they kept their monastic/semi-eremitic lifestyle as much as they possibly could while in Rome. The friendship between Saint Bruno and Blessed Lanuin was very close and they were mentioned together on a couple of occasions: Count Roger of Calabria had a deed for a monastery in the names of Bruno and Lanuin. And in 1098 a papal bull contained the words, “To our very dear and honourable sons, Bruno and Lanuin.” On 6 October 1101 Saint Bruno died and Blessed Lanuin, with the rousing approval of Pope Paschal II, was elected Bruno’s successor as Prior. Lanuin was a holy man and was entrusted with many things which included the responsibility given by Pope Paschal II to reform the monasteries of other Religious Orders in the region.

The Holy Father’s letter to Lanuin included these words:
The sanctity, the sincerity and the religious zeal of which you
have given proof in the reform of churches and monasteries,
urges us strongly to regard you in high esteem and to render
acts of thanksgiving to the Almighty. We, then, are moved by
your piety and to confide fully to your fervour, we exhort and
oblige you to take to your charge the care of monasteries belonging
to our jurisdiction, which are in your vicinity. Examine
that in these there would be nothing contrary to the monastic
discipline and enforce to reform all abuses with great moderation
and discretion.

The many responsibilities entrusted to Blessed Lanuin did not, however, obstruct his wonderful gift of contemplation. His true place was the silence of his desert. He lived nearly nineteen years after the death of Saint Bruno. He died on 11 April 1120 and was buried in Saint Bruno’s tomb. His reputation for holiness continues even today and is especially celebrated by the Carthusian Order.

From the Carthusian diurnal:
Lord God, You called Lanuin to be one of
Saint Bruno’s companions in solitude.
Through the merits of these our first fathers
may we also reach the eternal glory of heaven.