To the praise of God’s glory, Christ, Word of the Father, has from the beginning chosen certain men through the Holy Spirit, in order to lead them into solitude, and unite them to himself in intimate love. In obedience to such a call, Master Bruno, with six companions, entered the desert of Chartreuse, in the year of our Lord 1084, and settled there. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they and their successors, learning from experience, developed their own particular style of hermit life, which was handed down to succeeding generations, not by the written word, but by example.
Other hermitages were founded in imitation of that of Chartreuse, and after their repeated entreaties, Guigo, fifth Prior of the Grande Chartreuse, wrote out a description of this way of life. They all willingly received it and decided to conform to it, so that it might be their rule of observance and the bond of love of their nascent family.
Around 1145, the nuns of Prébayon, in Provence, decided to embrace the Carthusian way of life. This was the origin of our Order.
Today the Carthusian Order has twenty-one houses, sixteen of monks and five of nuns. The male monasteries are located in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Slovenia, Germany, England, the United States of America, Brazil, Argentina and South Korea.
The uninterrupted existence of our Order for more than nine centuries, through the vicissitudes of history, is a sign of God’s solicitude for it, of its balance of life, and of its special place and mission in the Church.
We seek to say here simply who we are for the benefit of all those who are intrigued by this life separated from the world. The mystery of the Carthusian vocation, however, cannot be grasped in a few words. As Catholic contemplatives, sons and daughters of St Bruno and, like him, solitary, we seek to be faithful to God’s call by following in his footsteps.