Carthusian Martyrs

The Carthusian martyrs are those members of the Carthusian monastic order who have been persecuted and killed because of their Christian faith and their adherence to the Catholic religion.

The Carthusian order was founded in 1084 by St. Bruno of Cologne, and is an eremitic and cenobitic order, holding to the principle of withdrawal from the world to a life of silent contemplation and prayer. It is also a small order, comprising today of 25 houses worldwide with just 350 male and 75 female members. This has not rendered them immune to attack and times of religious or social upheaval have seen members of the order called to make the extreme sacrifice for their beliefs.

The Martyrs

During the Hussite Revolution in Bohemia in the 15th century Carthusian houses, as with other Catholic institutions, came under attack. In 1421 the charterhouse in Prague was ransacked and its members lost.

In 1537 during the English Reformation the London Charterhouse was dissolved and its members imprisoned and later executed. Eighteen of these were beatified in 1886 by Pope Leo XIII; three of these (Augustine Webster, John Houghton and Robert Lawrence) were canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI with other English martyrs as the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

In 1572 during the Dutch Revolt the Charterhouses of Delft and Roermond were attacked, resulting in the deaths of Dom Justus van Schoonhoven and others.

During the French Revolution numerous Carthusians were persecuted with other Catholic religious and lay persons. Of these Claude Beguignot and Lazarus Tiersot, who died in prison in 1794, have been beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1995.[1]

In 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, Carthusians were affected by the widespread anti-clericalism; two of these, from the Charterhouse of Montalegre, have so far been recognized.

In 1944, during World War II, twelve Carthusian brothers in Italy, together with more than 60 refuges whom they were sheltering, were massacred by German occupation forces at Farneta.[2]

As a closed order the Carthusians do not, on principle, put forward causes for their members, though causes have been promoted by others on their behalf.


  1. listing at
  2. article at catholic

External links

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