As part of Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to the Calabria Region of Italy this month, he will visit the famous Carthusian monastery of San Bruno. The Pope will celebrate vespers and deliver a homily in the church of the Carthusian monastery of Serra San Bruno, after which he will meet the monastic community and visit a cell and the infirmary of the monastery.
Among the monastic religious families, Carthusians live in greater solitude. The monks and the nuns of the Order, while living separately in their own monasteries, share the same rule and follow a unique model in the person of their founder, Saint Bruno (c. 1030–1101).
The Carthusian monk does not live alone, as the monastery is a community. Nevertheless, he will pass the greater part of his life in his cell where he prays, works, takes his meals, and sleeps. During the course of the week, he only leaves three times a days for the Liturgy of the Hours and communal Mass: in the middle of the night, the Night Office, the morning Eucharist and Vespers towards the night.
The Carthusian can be a cloistered monk or a brother, two different ways of living the same vocation of solitude. This solitude is not lived for its own sake, but as a privileged means of attaining intimacy with God.