SAINT BRUNO BONIFACE of QUERFURT
In the Diocese of Łomża: Primary Patron Saint of the diocese – Solemnity
In his youth, Bruno, born in a German noble family in 974, was a chaplain of emperor Otto III. In 998 he entered the Benedictines in Rome and changed name to Boniface. He started to live in a hermitage of St Romuald at Pereum near Ravenna. Sent by Sylvester II to lead the mission into Prussia, he was appointed bishop on Magdeburg. In 1008 he reached Prussia but a year later he died as a martyr along 18 companions in the territory of Yotvingians. He is the author of “The Life of Saint Adalbert,” “The Life of Five Brethren Martyrs,” and “The Letter to Emperor Henry II,” in which he fervently protected Poland.
Common of One Martyr, or of Pastors, except:
EVENING PRAYER I
HYMN as below; Canticle of Mary antiphon as in Evening Prayer II.
OFFICE OF READINGS
O faithful friend of our land,
Saint Bruno, pastor and monk,
May your memorial give us strength
On our way to God.
You were the bridge given by the Lord
Over the banks of the nations in feud,
To reconcile them with the power of the Gospel
Greater than their borders.
Protect our brothers now as well,
As they seek your help:
In your fatherland and on the place
Where our innocent blood you shed.
Help us, father, stand by Christ for ever,
Proclaim him with words and works every day,
Teach us bring the true peace,
Between the enemies.
Glory by to the Triune God,
Praise and thanks for you, pastor,
Who confirmed the validity of Good News
With your martyrdom. Amen.
From the Letter of St Bruno of Querfurt, bishop, to emperor Henry II
(Mon. Poloniae Hist., I. 2236-228)
The witness to the history of the nation
To King Henry, a pious man of the church, Bruno sends whatever befits a king and pleases the Lord God Who judges all things.
While you are king, you have zeal according to the wisdom which God has given to you, in order that you may be a good and catholic rector. Likewise, as long as the mercy alone of the Holy Spirit inspires us to work, we wretched men of yours shall devote our zeal to toil lest we consume this life in vain and be found naked on the day of death, in accordance with that saying of Paul, best of men: “I do not make my soul more precious than myself.” Hence, as far as I am concerned, I do nothing but evil; but as far as God is concerned, He does everything good by His word swiftly.
If someone has also said that I bear greater fidelity and friendship to Boleslaus. this is true: clearly I love him as my own soul and more than my life. But as God, from whom nothing precious is hidden, is my public witness, I do not love him against your grace, because more than I am able, I want to convert him to you. But, if it is permitted to speak thus without losing the king’s grace: Is it good to persecute a Christian people and hold a pagan people in friendship? What concord hath Christ with Belial? What communion hath light with darkness? Beware, O king, if you want to do everything with power and never with mercy, which the good man loves, lest by chance Jesus, who now helps you, should laugh at you in mockery. But every evil hangs on this region, in which the king does not have faith in Boleslaus, and Boleslaus does not have faith in the irate king. O how many and fitting are the goods which come together in protecting Christianity and converting paganism, if his son Boleslaus might live with you, our king, who remain as the only hope of the world, just as the father Mieszko lived with the emperor who has died.
And although I do not know how to pray in the sight of the Lord, I shall not cease from my barking in order that the salvation of God may bless you. Moreover, whatever counsel or aid you can offer in converting the Liutizi and the Prussians, do not cease from giving, as befits a pious king and the hope of the world. For now, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, our efforts must be applied towards converting the hard hearts of these pagans and each man be consumed with works and zeal, as Peter fights on indefatigably.
Farewell, o king; live truly for god; be mindful of good works; may you die an old man, full of virtues and of days.
RESPONSORY 2 Timothy 4:7, 8; 1:12
I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith,
– From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me.
I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
– From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me.
On solemnity: TE DEUM You are God: we praise you.
CONCLUDING PRAYER as in Morning Prayer.
Over our land the bright sun
Proclaims the glory of a holy man,
And the martyrdom blood he shed,
Strengthens the faith of Polish people.
The sacrifice was not in vain,
As it proved God’s truth,
As our soil has given birth
To brave confessors and martyrs.
As the great Adalbert in the pagan Prussia,
And the five Brethren in a Lechitic wilderness,
Bishop Bruno sanctified the Podlasie land
With his innocent death.
May our whole land rejoice
Giving God thanks for him,
And may a good shepherd lead
The nation of Poles on the path of peace.
May God the Father with the Son and the Spirit,
Be praised with our thoughts throughout the day,
And may Saint Bruno protect
The faithful to cross and Gospel. Amen.
CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH
Ant. Bruno set off to the peoples who dwelt in the shadow of death to give them the knowledge of salvation.
O Almighty and merciful God,
Saint Bruno, bishop and martyr, shed his blood on our lands, proclaiming the Gospel to pagans,
grant that, through his intercession, we may preserve the faith and apply it to our lives.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
EVENING PRAYER II
HYMN as in Office of Readings.
CANTICLE OF MARY
Ant. Whoever loses his life for my sake and the sake of the Gospel will save it.