Bruno of Querfurt

Bruno of Querfurt was also knownBrun and Boniface was born in 974 in a noble family of Querfurt He was believed to have been a relative of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III. When he was six, he was sent to school at the cathedral school in Magdeburg,  the teacher and namesake of Adalbert of Prague. While he was still young he was made a canon of the Cathedral of Magdeburg. When Bruno was fifteen, Otto III made Bruno a part of his royal court. In 995 Otto III appointed Bruno as his court chaplain

While in Rome for Otto’s coronation, Bruno met Adalbert of Prague, the first “Apostle of the Prussians”, who was killed a year later.  This inspired Bruno to write a biography of Adalbert. Bruno spent time at the monastery where Adalbert became a monk. In 998, Bruno entered a Benedictine monastery underwent strict ascetic training.

Otto III hoped to establish a monastery between the Elbe and the Oder to help convert the local population to Christianity and colonize the area. In 1001, two monks from his monastery traveled to Poland, while Bruno was with Otto in Italy.  Bruno was studying language and waiting to be appointed by Pope Sylvester II

In 1003 Pope Sylvester II appointed 33-year-old Bruno to head a mission to the pagan peoples of Eastern Europe. Bruno left Rome in 1004, and having been named an archbishop was consecrated in February. Bruno could not go directly to Poland so he left for Hungary. He went to the places that Adalbert of Prague had been.

Bruno tried to persuade the leaders to accept the Bishop of Rome, but this created controversy among local monks. Bruno decided to leave the area after he finished writing his book “Life of Adalbert of Prague,” 

Bruno went to Kyiv, where Grand Duke Vladimir I authorized him to make Christian converts. Bruno spent five months there and baptized some thirty adults. He helped to bring about a peace treaty between them and the ruler of Kyiv.

Before leaving for Poland, Bruno consecrated a bishop. While in Poland he consecrated the first Bishop of Sweden and sent missionaries to baptize the king of Sweden, whose mother had come from Poland. Bruno found out that his friend Benedict and four companions had been killed by robbers in 1003. Bruno took eyewitness accounts and wrote a history of the Five Martyred Brothers.At the end of 1008, Bruno and eighteen companions set out to found a mission among the Prussians. Bruno met opposition in his efforts to evangelize the borderland.  He ignored the warning and continued.  He was beheaded on March 9, 1009.  Most of his eighteen companions were hanged.