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Bruno (bishop of Segni)

  (Redirected from Bruno Astensis)

Saint Bruno di Segni (c. 1045 – 18 July 1123) was an Italian Roman Catholic prelate and professed member from the Order of Saint Benedict who served as the Bishop of Segni and the Abbot of Montecassino.[1][2] He studied under the Benedictines in Bologna before being appointed as the canon of the Siena cathedral and before he was invited to Rome where he became a bishop and counselled four consecutive popes.[3] He served as an abbot in Montecassino but his chastising Pope Paschal II on the Concordat of Segni in 1111 prompted the pope to relieve him from his duties as abbot and ordered Bruno to return to his diocese where he died just over a decade later.[4][2]


Bishop of Segni
Saint Bruno, Bishop of Segni.jpg
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Term ended18 July 1123
by Pope Gregory VII
Personal details
Birth nameBruno
Bornc. 1045
Solero, Kingdom of Italy
Died18 July 1123 (aged 78)
Segni, Papal States
Previous post
  • Canon of the Siena Cathedral (1073-1079)
  • Abbot of Montecassino (1107-1111)
Feast day18 July
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Canonized5 September 1181
Segni, Papal States
by Pope Lucius III
  • Benedictine habit
  • Episcopal attire
  • Pastoral staff

Bruno's canonization was celebrated on 5 September 1181 under Pope Lucius III who presided over the celebration in the late bishop's diocese.[1]


Oil on canvas c. 1630 - St. Bruno and Pope Urban II.

Bruno was born circa 1045 in Solero either to nobles or parents of modest means named Andrea and Guglielmina.[1][2] He spent his theological education in a Benedictine convent of Santa Perpetua near his town in Asti and in Bologna at the college there where he also studied humanities and the liberal arts.[2] He became a canon in Siena in 1073 after his ordination to the priesthood around that stage and was assigned as a pastor there. This happened after he decided to go to Montecassino to be a monk but during the trip fell ill in Siena where he remained subject to the needs of the local bishop who thought it best to name Bruno as the cathedral canon.[1] Bruno became noted for his defending orthodox faith and for his extensive knowledge of Sacred Scripture though was better known for his teachings and ardent devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Bruno later moved to Rome in about 1079 after he was summoned there on the account of his broad learning and great piousness where he was a guest of Blessed Pietro Igneo.[4] Bruno was appointed as the Bishop of Segni in 1079 after the canons selected him and Pope Gregory VII himself - a good friend to Bruno and who often sought his counsel - granted episcopal consecration to him in 1080. In 1079 in Rome - before the pope himself - he obliged Berengarius of Tours to retreat his heretical claim that there existed no real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist in a move that won him much praise and admiration.[1][4]

In April 1082 he was travelling from Segni to Rome when Adolfo di Segni seized and imprisoned him. He was freed and returned to Rome but was imprisoned once more alongside the pope in the Sant'Angelo castle. Pope Victor III named him as the Vatican Librarian and he held the position until he left for Montecassino in 1099.

Bruno had connections to Pope Urban II whom he accompanied to the Council of Clermont in late 1095 where the First Crusade was inaugurated.[4] He travelled with the pope to Avignon from 11-13 September before setting off for Cluny on 25 October and to the council on 18 November. He accompanied the pope to Limoges from 23-31 December and then onwards to Charroux before going with him to Poitiers on 22 January 1096. Bruno accompanied Urban II to Moyenmoutier on 10 March before going to Tours from 14-20 March and then to Poitiers again from 30 March to 14 April. Their last two destinations were in Nîmes on 12 July and Saint-Gilles on 20 July.[2][4] In 1099 he entered Montecassino convent without resigning his episcopal see or severing his relations with the outside world. He undertook a mission to the Kingdom of France for Pope Paschal II in 1106 remaining with the pope for several months after his return before returning to his cloister where he was elected as abbot for Montecassino in November 1107.[2] Paschal II made no objection to this pluralism until Bruno condemned the pope's signing of the Concordat of Segni in 1111 was forced to resign his position as the abbot and return to Segni as its bishop.[5] He and other Italian and French bishops rejected the "Privilgegium" that Emperor Heinrich V extorted from the pope in the latter's imprisonment and censured the pope in a letter for conceding to the king the right to investiture of abbots and bishops.[4] His chastising the pope led to the frustrated Paschal II in turn chastising Bruno for shirking his duties and forced him to return to Segni.[1] He served as a legate to France twice in 1104 and 1106 while he visited Civita Castellana with the pope on 8 September 1105 and in Parma on 2 November 1106. Bruno was also present in Segni to welcome the pope on 4 June 1109 who celebrated the canonization for Bruno's old friend Pietro di Anagni.[2] Bruno once made the mistake when he claimed that priests who committed simonical acts could not perform the Sacraments but he was proven to be wrong since it did not undo the sacrament of ordination despite how severe it was.[3]

There is confusion as to whether or not Bruno had been made a cardinal. It is said that he declined the cardinalate while other sources suggest he had been made the Cardinal-Bishop of Segni even though the suburbicarian diocese had not existed at that stage. Some sources suggest that Urban II named him as a cardinal in 1086 while others believe that he was named as a cardinal on 18 July 1079.[2]

He died at Segni in mid-1123. Bruno's published works are considered to be exegetical for the most part. He condemned simonical practices in a document written prior to 1109 entitled Libellus de simoniacis. He authored commentaries on the Book of Job and the Psalms as well as on the four Gospels.[4][2] Bruno also wrote on the lives of Pope Leo IX and Pietro di Anagni. There are 145 homilies of his that are still preserved.[3]


Bruno's canonization was celebrated under Pope Lucius III on 5 September 1181 in Segni. He is considered the patron saint for Segni.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Saint Bruno of Segni". Saints SQPN. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Salvador Miranda. "Consistory celebrated in 1086 (I)". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Michael J. Walsh (2007). Bruno of Segni, A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West. Liturgical Press.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "St. Bruno". New Advent. Retrieved 6 October 2017.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Jehangir Yezdi Malegam (2013). The Sleep of Behemoth: disputing peace and violence in medieval Europe, 1000-1200. Cornell University Press.
  6. ^ Ludwig Vones (2002). Lucius III: The Papacy: Gaius-Proxies. Volume 2. Routledge.

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