Guigo II

views updated


Carthusian spiritual writer; d. probably 1188. Guigo was elected ninth prior of La Grande-Chartreuse and general of the order in 1173. He resigned from this office in 1180. Guigo wrote the Scala Paradisi (also known as the Scala Claustralium ) about 1150. The work was variously attributed in the past to St. Augustine, to St. Bernard, and to Guigo I. It distinguishes four stages of spiritual occupation: "Reading, you should seek; meditating, you will find; praying, you shall call; and contemplating, the door will be opened to you." This formula was later borrowed by St. John of the Cross. A Middle English version of the treatise under the title A Ladder of Four Rungs of Guy II was published at Stanbrook Abbey in 1953. Guigo also wrote a volume of Meditationes (ed. M. M. Davy, La Vie spirituelle, supplement 193234). Unlike those of Guigo I, these meditations are more effective than profound, and their complicated symbolism makes reading difficult. The Liber de quadripertito exercitio cellae, until recently ascribed to Guigo, is now known to have been written by adam scotus.

Bibliography: m. laporte, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et deman, ed. g. jacquemet, 5:376. s. autore, Dictionaaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 190350) 6.2:196667. j. m. dÉchanet, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique. Doctrine et histoire. 2.2:195961. Text of Guigo's Scala among the works of St. Augustine, Patrologia latina ed. j. p. migne (Paris 187890) 40:9971004, and of St. Bernard, ibid. 184:475484.

[b. du moustier]