The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Urban II (1088-1099)
Consistory celebrated in 1086 (I)


(1) 1. BRUNO, O.S.B. (ca. 1040/1050-1123)

Birth. Ca. 1040/1050, Solero d'Asti, Piedmont. Of a modest family (1). He is also listed as Bruno of Segni; Bruno Astense; Brunonis Astensis; and Bruno di Segni.

Education. Initial studies at the Benedictine monastery of S. Perpetua in Asti, where he studied humanities and prepared for the ecclesiastical life; then, he went to study the seven liberal arts at the University of Bologna.

Priesthood. Ordained (no further information found). He decided to enter the monastery of Monte Cassino but during the trip, he became ill in Siena and the local bishop, Rodolfo, named him canon of the cathedral chapter. Because of his knowledge and piety, he was called to Rome, where he was advisor to four popes. Participated in a Roman synod in 1079; there, he convinced Berengarius of Tours to retract his heresy which denied the real presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist; the disputation between the canon and the heretic took place before Pope Gregory VII.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Segni in 1079 (2) by its canons; he accepted after an intervention of Pope Gregory VII. Consecrated in 1080, Campagna of Rome, by Pope Gregory VII. In 1082, returning to Segni from Rome, he was imprisoned by Adolfo di Segni; tradition says that he was miraculously freed. Returned to Rome and there he was imprisoned, together with the pope in mole Adriana (castle of Sant'Angelo). Librarian and chancellor of the Holy Roman Church in 1086.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal bishop of Segni in a consistory celebrated in 1086 (3). Participated in the papal election of 1088, celebrated in Terracina, in which Pope Urban II was elected. Subscribed papal bulls issued between 1089 and July 20, 1096. In 1095, he accompanied Pope Urban II to the Council of Clermont, in which the First Crusade was called; he went with the pontiff to Avignon Tarasco on September 11, 1095; to Avignon on September 13; to Cluny on October 25; to Clermont on November 18 (he participated in the council celebrated in that city); to Limoges, December 23 to 31; to Charroux, where he participated in the consecration of the abbatial church, on January 10, 1096; to Poitiers on January 22; to Moyenmoutier on March 10; to Tours on March 14 to 20 (he participated in the council celebrated in that city); to Poitiers from March 30 and before April 14; to Nîmes on July 12; and to St.-Gilles on July 20. Did not participate in the papal election of 1099, in which Pope Paschal II was elected. Subscribed papal bulls issued between August 30, 1100 and November 2, 1106. In 1103, he entered the Order of Saint Benedict (Benedictines) at the monastery of Monte Cassino; he was elected abbot in November 1107, keeping his episcopal see. He was sent to France as legate in 1104. In March 1105, during the Lateran Synod, he acted as a judge in a controversy. On September 8 of the same year, he was with the pope in Civita Castellana. He returned to France as legate in 1106. On November 2, 1106, he was in Parma with the pope. On June 4, 1109, Pope Paschal II went to Segni to canonize Bishop Pietro of Anagni, friend of Cardinal Bruno, and most probably, the cardinal was present at the ceremony. He opposed lay investitures of bishops and abbot, even declaring them to be heresy; he criticized Pope Paschal II for granting Emperor Heinrich the privilege of investitures during the pontiff's imprisonment by the emperor April 11, 1111 and demanded that the treaty be annulled. On March 23, 1112, during the Lateran Synod, Pope Paschal II rejected the granting of the privilege of investitures to Emperor Heinrich V; the bishop of Segni was not present at that session of the synod and he continued with his intransgent position; unhappy with the bishop's opposition, the pope asked him resign his abbey and to return to his see of Segni definitively. He participated in the Lateran synod of 1116, but never regained his earlier position in the papal curia. He wrote commentaries on thirteen books of the Holy Bible; a life of Pope St. Leo IX; and one of St. Pietro, bishop of Anagni; a treatise on the Sacraments; and another one on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; 145 of his homilies and six books of sentences are still preserved.

Death. July 23, 1123, Segni (4). Buried in the cathedral of Segni.

Canonization. He was canonized by Pope Lucius III in 1183 in Segni. Named first protector of the city and diocese of Segni. His feast is celebrated on July 18.

Bibliography. Bruno, di Segni, Saint, ca. 1048-1123; Odo, monk of Asta, fl. ca. 1120. Opera omnia. 2 v. Lutetiæ Parisiorum Apud J.-P. Migne, 1854. (Patrologiæ cursus completus. Series secunda ; t. 164-165; Variation: Patrologiae cursus completus; Series latina ; v. 164-165). Note: At head of title: Sæculum XII. Responsibility: S. Brunonis Astensis ; aucta et adnotationibus illustrata juxta editionem Romf anno 1791 curante Bruno Bruni datam ; accedit Oddonis Astensis Expositio in Psalmos S. Brunoni ab ipso auctore dicata quam ad calcem Operrum S. Brunonis edidit Maurus Marchesius, Venetiis anno 1651 ; accurante J.-P. Migne; Bruno, di Segni, Saint, ca. 1048-1123 ; Oddo, Astensis, 12th cent. S. Brunonis Astensis Signiensium Episcopi Opera. Cum expositione in Psalmos. 2 v. bound in 1. Venetiis : Apud Bertanos, 1651. Contents: Partial contents: v.1. Commentary on the Pentateuch, Job, Psalms, Canticle of Canticles, Apocalypse. --v.2. Homilies on gospels of the church year; Canticle of Zachary; the Incarnation; sacraments; Pope Leo IX; letters. Note: Full-page "Effigies S. Bruni Astensis..." Other titles: Opera; Expositio super psalterium. Responsibility: Oddonis Astensis monachi Benedictini eidem Sancto Brunoni ab ipso auctore dicata. Nunc primam duobus tomis distincta in lucem edita studio, et labore D. Mauri Marchesii, Casinensis decani; Bruno, di Segni, Saint, ca. 1048-1123; Oddo Astensis. S. Brunonis Astensis abbatis Montis Casini et episcopi signiensium Opera omnia, accedit Oddonis Astensis Expositio in Psalmos. 2 v. Parisiis : apud Garnier fratres, 1854-1884. (Patrologiae cursus completus. Series latina. Accurante J.-P. Migne. t.CLXIV-CLXV). Note: Vol.2 has imprint: Parisiis apud J.-P. Migne; Bruno di Segni, Saint, ca. 1048-1123 ; Rembolt, Berthold, d. 1518. Brunonis Expositio admodu[m] peculiaris in o[mn]es Diui Pauli epistolas .... Parrhisijs : Per ... Bertholdum Rembolt, 1509. Uniform Title: Expositio admodum peculiaris in omnes Divi Pauli epistolas; Cipollini, Francesco. Bruno di Segni (1123) e la chiesa del suo tempo : giornate di studio, Segni, 4-5 novembre 1999. Venafro (Isernia) : Eva, 2001. (San Germano ; 4); "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1927. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1928, p. 149, no. 11; Ferraro, Giuseppe. Lo Spirito Santo nei commentari al Quarto Vangelo di Bruno di Segni, Ruperto di Deutz, Bonaventura e Alberto Magno. Città del Vaticano (VC) : Libr. Ed. Vaticana, 1998.(Letture bibliche; 11). Identifier: Johannesevangelium; Kommentar; Pneumatologie; Geschichte 1050-1280. Note: Bruno di Segni, saint (11th cent.); Ruperto di Deutz (11th cent.); Bonaventura da Bagnoregio, saint (1217-1274); Alberto Magno, saint (1205 ca.-1280); Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957, p. 725; Ganzer, Klaus. Die entwicklung des auswärtigen kardinalats im hohen mittelater ; ein beitrag zur geschichte des kardinalkollegiums vom 11.bis 13. jahrhundert. Tügingen : Niemeyer, 1963, p. 57-62, no. 19; Grégoire, Réginald. Bruno de Segni, exégète médiéval et théologien monastique. Spoleto, 1965. (Centro italiano di studi sull'alto Medioevo. [Pubblicazioni]; 3; Variation: Centro italiano di studi sull'alto Medioevo ; Pubblicazioni ; 3). Note: "Cette étude a fait l'objet d'une thèse présentée le 19 janvier 1963 à l'Athénée pontifical de Saint-Anselme à Rome, pour 'obtention du doctorat en théologie"; Hüls, Rudolf. Kardinäle, Klerus und Kirchen Roms: 1049-1130. 1 aufl. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1977. (Bibliothek des Deutschen Historischen Instituts in Rom: Bd. 48), p. 129-130, no. 2; Jiménez Fernández, Fernando. La "Expositio in apocalypsim" de San Bruno de Segni. Romæ: Pointificia Universitas Sanctæ Crucis, Facultas Theologiæ, 2003. Note: Thesis ad doctoratum in Sacra Theologia totaliter edita; Klewitz, Hans-Walter. Reformpapsttum und Kardinalkolleg. Die Entstehung des Kardinalkollegiums. Studien über die Wiederherstellung der römischen Kirche in Süditalien durch das Reformpapsttum. Das Ende des Reformpapsttums. Darmstadt : Hermann Gentner Verlag, 1957, p. 118, no. 24; and 121, no. 13; Navarra, Bruno. San Bruno Astense vescovo di Segni e abate di Montecassino. Roma : Centro Studi Del Lazio, 1980; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, II, 702.

Link. Biography by Jodoc Adolphe Birkhaeuser, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; his image and biography, in English, Wikipedia; biography, in English, New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge; his image and biography, in Italian, Santi e Beati; his image and biography, in Italian, Wikipedia; and his image on a religious card. Piero Stradella.

(1) This is according to Grégoire, Bruno de Segni, exégète médiéval et théologien monastique, p. 18, which adds, on p. 16-18, that some sources indicate that he was of a noble family from Asti and that his parents were Andrea and Squilla (Willa) but that these affirmations lack historical foundation.
(2) This is according to Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae, p. 725, which says that he was primarius protector civitatis et diocesis, sed 44 ann. and that he was created cardinal on July 18, 1079.
(3) His first biography in English, linked above, says that he declined the promotion to the cardinalate because of humility. "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1927, p. 149, no. 11, includes him among the cardinals created by Pope Urban II, adding that he may have been promoted to the cardinalate by Pope Victor III. Ganzer, Die entwicklung des auswärtigen kardinalats im hohen mittelater, p. 57-62, no. 19, includes him among the cardinals created by Pope Paschal II. Klewitz, Reformpapsttum und Kardinalkolleg. Die Entstehung des Kardinalkollegiums, p. 121, no. 13, says that he was created cardinal by Pope Gregory VII. Besides the discrepancies between the sources concerning when Bishop Bruno was created cardinal, there are also conflicts between German sources with regard to if he was a cardinal at all: Paul Hinschius, Das Kirchenrecht der Katholiken und Protestanten in Deutschland. System des katholischen Kirchenrechts mit besonderer Rücksicht auf Deutschland (6 v. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1959. Reprint of 1869-97 ed.), I, 326-326, indicates that he was not a cardinal based on the fact that around that time the number of cardinal bishops was constant, at seven, and the dioceses, with which they were connected, would not have changed; Bernhard Gigalski, Bruno, bischof von Segni, abt von Monte-Cassino (1049-1123) sein leben und seine schriften : ein beitrag zur kirchengeschichte im zeitalter des investiturstreites, und zur theologischen litteraturgeschichte des mittelalters (Münster i.W. : H. Schöningh, 1898), rejects the cardinalate of Bishop Bruno, partly based on a personal report of Johannes Baptist Sägmüller (scholar who wrote the article "Cardinal" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia); the same source also says that the see of Segni never belonged to the cardinalitial suburbicarian dioceses. Klewitz, Reformpapsttum und Kardinalkolleg, 37-47, concludes that at the time of Bruno, the number of the cardinal dioceses had been long fixed at seven but, that, however, the composition of these dioceses still occasionally changed. For a vacant diocese, the occupant of a diocese, which was not one of the seven, was accepted to fill the fixed number of seven. The position was not bound to the diocese, but remained alone limited to the person. The see of Segni, according to Klewitz, was temporarily taking the place of the see of Silva Candida. The author supports his theory by the report Pope Urban II to Abbot Ugo of Cluny over his choice, when he says "Notum itaque facimus dilectioni remainder advice, quod apud Terracinam Campaniae Civitatem sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae episcopi et cardinales, Portuensis videlicet, Sabinensis, Tusculanus, Albanensis et Signensis cum aliis episcopis numero sexdecim". Bruno is equated to the remaining cardinals and signed as "S.R.E. episcopus et cardinalis", differently from the other sixteen bishops mentioned. It should be noted that the see of Segni was united to the suburbicarian see of Velletri on October 20, 1981.
(4) This is according to Ganzer, Die entwicklung des auswärtigen kardinalats im hohen mittelater, p. 62. Grégoire, Bruno de Segni, exégète médiéval et théologien monastique, p. 58; and his biography in Italian, linked above, say that he died on July 18, 1123.

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