Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Saint Bruno and the Carthusians--October 6

On October 6, we honor the great 11th-century German founder of the Carthusian order of monks, St. Bruno. The form of monasticism that he founded was (unlike the Benedictines) based on a solitary, hermit-style of life, inspired by the early Christian hermits who lived in the Egyptian deserts.

The Carthusians, though always rather few in number, have had great influence on the spiritual life of the Church throughout the centuries.

If you have not yet seen the film "Into Great Silence," this is a good time to do so. It is a truly remarkable film about the Carthusian monastic experience. Note: it is almost entirely silent and it is long, so be prepared to settle in for several hours--but it is well worth it!

Rather than eating something in St. Bruno's honor, I propose that we take a sip or two of the famous liqueur made by the Carthusians ("Chartreux," in French) called Chartreuse. This is a sweet, strongly herbal (130 Alpine herbs to be precise) alcoholic drink, that promotes digestion. (The drink also gave the name to the color: a bright yellow-green.)

Many other orders of monks and nuns have made foods and drinks enjoyed by millions around the world. Soon we'll devote a special post to some of these delicious concoctions.

1 comment:

  1. In Slovenia Carthusians make a testy brandy with pears...