Saint Bruno ou Brunon de Querfurt, évêque et martyr
Apparenté à la famille impériale germanique, Bruno se rend à Rome où il entre au monastère bénédictin de l'Aventin. Plus tard il se mettra sous la conduite de saint Romuald à Ravenne. Le Pape Sylvestre II l'envoie évangéliser la Ruthénie et c'est là, en 1009, qu'avec 18 de ses compagnons, il offre sa vie en sacrifice pour la conversion et le salut des païens.
Saint Bruno de Querfurt
Evêque de Querfurt, martyr (✝ 1009)
Brunon ou Boniface.
Apparenté à la famille impériale germanique, il se rend à Rome où il entre au monastère bénédictin de l'Aventin. Plus tard il se mettra sous la conduite de saint Romuald à Ravenne. Le Pape Sylvestre II l'envoie évangéliser la Ruthénie et c'est là qu'avec 18 de ses compagnons, il offre sa vie en sacrifice pour la conversion et le salut des païens.
9 mars: Dans la Moravie orientale, en 1009, saint Bruno, évêque de Querfurt et martyr. Alors qu’il accompagnait en Italie l’empereur Othon III, il fut remué par l’autorité de saint Romuald, il se livra à sa règle de vie en recevant le nom de Boniface, puis il retourna en Allemagne, ordonné évêque des païens par le pape Jean X et, dans une de ses courses missionnaires, il fut massacré par des idolâtres avec dix-huit compagnons.
St. Bruno of Querfurt
(Also called BRUN and BONIFACE).
Second Apostle of the Prussians and martyr, born about 970; died 14 February, 1009. He is generally represented with a hand cut off, and is commemorated on 15 October. Bruno was a member of the noblefamily of Querfurt and is commonly said to have been a relative of the Emperor Otto III, although Hefele (inKirchenlex., II, s.v. Bruno) emphatically denies this. When hardly six years old he was sent to ArchbishopAdalbert of Magdeburg to be educated and had the learned Geddo as his teacher in the cathedral school. He was a well-behaved, industrious scholar, while still a lad he was made a canon of the cathedral. The fifteen year-old Otto III became attached to Bruno, made him one of his court, and took him to Rome when the young emperor went there in 996 to be crowned. At Rome Bruno became acquainted with St. Adalbert Archbishop ofPrague, who was murdered a year later by the pagan Prussians to whom he had gone as a missionary. AfterAdalbert's death Bruno was tied with an intense desire for martyrdom. He spent much of has time in themonastery on the Aventine where Adalbert had become a monk, and where Abbot Johannes Canaparius wrote a life of Adalbert. Bruno, however, did not enter the monastic life here, but in the monastery of Pereum, an island in the swamps near Ravenna.
Pereum was under the rule of the founder of the Camaldoli reform, St. Romuald, a saint who had great influence over the Emperor Otto III. Under the guidance of St. Romuald Bruno underwent a severe ascetictraining; it included manual work, fasting all week except Sunday and Thursday, night vigils, and scourging on the bare back; in addition Bruno suffered greatly from fever. He found much pleasure in the friendship of a brother of the same age as himself, Benedict of Benevento, who shared his cell and who was one with him inmind and spirit. The Emperor Otto III desired to convert the lands; between the Elbe and the Oder, which were occupied by Slavs, to Christianity, and to plant colonies there. He hoped to attain these ends through the aid of a monastery to be founded in this region by some of the most zealous of Romuald's pupils. In 1001, therefore, Benedict another brother of the same monastery, Joannes, went, laden with gifts from the emperor, to Poland, where they were well received by the Christian Duke Boleslas, who taught them the language of the people. During this time Bruno studied the language of Italy, where he remained with Otto and awaited theApostolic appointment by the pope. Sylvester II made him archbishop over the heathen and gave him thepallium, but left the consecration to the Archbishop of Magdeburg, who had the supervision of the mission to the Slavs. Quitting Rome in 1003, Bruno was consecrated in February, 1004, by Archbishop Tagino ofMagdeburg and gave his property for the founding of a monastery. As war has broken out between EmperorHenry II and the Polish Duke, Bruno was not able to go at once to Poland; so, starting from Ratisbon on the Danube, he went into Hungary, where St. Alalbert had also laboured. Here he finished his life of St. Adalbert, a literary memorial of much worth.
Bruno sought to convert the Hungarian ruler Achtum and his principality of "Black-Hungary", but he met with so much opposition, including that of the Greek monks, that success was impossible. In December, 1007, he went to Russia. Here the Grand duke Vladimir entertained him for a month and then gave him a territory extending to the possessions of the Petschenegen, who lived on the Black Sea between the Danube and the Don. This was considered the fiercest and most cruel of the heathen tribes. Bruno spent five months among them,baptized some thirty adults, aided in bringing about a treaty of peace with Russia, and left in that country one of his companions whom he had consecrated bishop. About the middle of the year 1008 he returned to Polandand there consecrated a bishop for Sweden. While in Poland he heard that his friend Benedict and four companions had been killed by robbers on 11 May, 1003. Making use of the accounts of eyewitnesses, he wrote the touching history of the lives and death of the so-called Polish brothers. Towards the end of 1008 he wrote a memorable, but ineffectual, letter to the Emperor Henry II, exhorting him to show clemency and to conclude a peace with Boleslas of Poland. Near the close of this same year, accompanied by eighteen companions, he went to found a mission among the Prussians, but the soil was not fruitful, and Bruno and his companions travelled towards the borders of Russia, preaching courageously as they went. On the borders ofRussia they were attacked by the heathen, the whole company were murdered, Bruno with great composure meeting death by decapitation. Duke Boleslas bought the bodies of the slain and had them brought to Poland. It is said that the city of Braunsberg is named after St. Bruno.
Soon after the time of their death St. Bruno and his companions were reverenced as martyrs. Little value is to be attached to a legendary account of the martyrdom by a certain Wipert. Bruno's fellow-pupil, Dithmar, or Thietmar, Bishop of Merseburg, gives a brief account of him in his Chronicle. VI, 58.
ST BRUNO, or BONIFACE, OF QUERFURT, BISHOP AND MARTYR (A.D. 1009)
This missionary monk was born about the year 974 of a noble Saxon family at Querfurt, and was baptized Bruno. He was educated in St Adalbert's city of Magdeburg, from whence he went to the court of Otto III, who regarded him with much confidence and affection and made him a court chaplain. When Otto went to Italy in 998, Bruno accompanied him and, like his master, came under the influence of St Romuald. With the memory of St Adalbert of Prague fresh in mind (who had been martyred the previous year) he received the monastic habit at the abbey of SS. Boniface and Alexis in Rome, and about 1000 he joined St Romuald. In the following year the emperor founded a monastery for them at Pereum, near Ravenna.
It was here that there came to Boniface (as he was now named) the call to carry the Christian message to the Veletians and Prussians and thus to continue the work of St Adalbert, whose life he had set himself to write. This scheme met with imperial approval, and two monks were sent in advance to Poland to learn Slavonic, while Boniface went to Rome for a papal commission; but these two, Benedict and John, with three others, were murdered by robbers on November 10, 1003, at Kazimierz, near Gniezno, before he could join them. These were the Five Martyred Brothers, whose biography Boniface subsequently wrote. With the authorization of Pope Silvester II duly granted, he set out for Germany in the depth of a winter so severe that his boots sometimes froze tight to the stirrups. After interviewing the new emperor, St Henry II, at Regensburg, he was consecrated a missionary bishop by the archbishop of Magdeburg at Merseburg -- perhaps "missionary archbishop" would be more accurate, for he had received a pallium from the pope, which has given rise to the suggestion that Boniface was in fact meant to be a metropolitan for eastern Poland. But owing to political difficulties he had to work for a time among the Magyars around the lower Danube; here he had no great success, and he went on to Kiev where, under the protection of St Vladimir, he preached Christ's gospel among the Pechenegs.
Eventually Boniface made another attempt to reach the Prussians from the Polish territories of Boleslaus the Brave, after writing an eloquent but fruitless letter to the Emperor St Henry, imploring him not to ally himself with the heathen against the Christian Boleslaus. While much is uncertain in his career we can accept without hesitation the statement made by the chronicler Thietmar, bishop of Merseburg, who was related to Boniface. He tells us that his kinsman encountered violent opposition in his efforts to evangelize the borderland people in eastern Masovia; and that when he persisted in disregarding their warnings he was cruelly slain with eighteen companions on March 14, 1009. The saint's body was purchased by Boleslaus, who removed it to Poland; and the Prussians afterwards honoured his memory by giving his name to the town of Braunsberg, on the reputed site of his martyrdom. St Boniface was a missionary of large ideas, including the evangelization of the Swedes, to whom he sent two of his helpers, perhaps from Kiev; but his achievements were, humanly speaking, disappointing.
Because he was sometimes called Bruno and sometimes Boniface, several later historians, including Cardinal Baronius in the Roman Martyrology (June 19 and October 15), have made the mistake of regarding Boniface and Bruno of Querfurt as different persons.
Sources for this life are not copious. There is a passage in the chronicle of Thietmar of Merseburg, another in St Peter Damian's Life of St Romuald, a short passio attributed to Wibert, who claimed to be a companion of the martyr, and a set of legendae in the Halberstadt Breviary. A rather tantalizing document has been published by H. G. Voigt, which, though preserved in a manuscript of very late date, has some pretensions to retain traces of a much older biography. It was first edited in the periodical Sachsen und Anhalt, vol. iii (1927), pp. 87-134; but it has since been included in Pertz, MGH., Scriptores, vol. xxx, part II. See also H. G. Voigt, Bruno von Querfurt... (1907) and Bruno als Missionar der Ostens (1909); the Historisches Jarbuch, vol. xiii (1892), 493-500; the Stimmen aus Maria-Laach, vol. liii (1897), pp. 266 seq.; F. Dvornik, The Making of Central and Eastern Europe (1949), pp. 196-204 and passim; and the Cambridge History of Poland, vol. i (1950), pp. 66-67.
Cantin André. « Saint Pierre Damien. La vie du B. Romuald. Bruno de Querfurt. La vie des cinq frères. », Cahiers de civilisation médiévale,1964, Volume 7, Numéro 7-27, pp. 343-344 : http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/ccmed_0007-9731_1964_num_7_27_1316_t1_0343_0000_3