top of page

Swiss Christian leader and monastic. In 1940, Schütz founded the Taizé Community, an ecumenical monastic community in Burgundy, France. He served as the community’s first prior until his murder in 2005. Toward the end of his life the Taizé Community was attracting international attention, welcoming thousands of young pilgrims each week, which has continued since his death.


TLS – Typewritten Letter Signed, one page, 26 September 1962.  Mentions an invitation as well as preparation for Vatican Council II. Also mentions Brother Max Thurian (1921-96) the sub-prior of the Taizé Community.  Folds but, overall, very good to fine.  An uncommon and highly-desirable letter of a man who was at the forefront of ecumenism and Christian unity. Letter reads:  Monsignor, I thank you for the invitation you sent me to attend a lunch on Tuesday, October 2nd of next month.  We will be very pleased to meet some of those who will attend the second Council of the Vatican.  I will, therefore, come with my brother Max Thurian on the morning train.  Monsignor, please be assured of my respectful and most brotherly regards.  Roger Schutz, Prior of Taizé.

Brother Roger of Taizé was “a tireless witness of the gospel of peace and reconciliation”, Pope Francis has said. In a message sent to the ecumenical monastic community to mark the 75th anniversary of Taizé’s foundation; the centenary of the birth of Brother Roger; and the tenth anniversary of Brother Roger’s death, the Pope described the Taizé founder as “animated by fire for an ecumenism of holiness”.


His words were drawn from those of Pope Benedict XVI who in 2012 described Brother Roger thus. “Passionately seeking the unity of the Church, Brother Roger opened the treasures deposited in the various Christian traditions,” and, “by the perseverance he demonstrated during his long life, he helped to change relations among still-separated Christians, tracing for many a path of reconciliation,” the Pope said. He concluded his message with an expression of gratitude to God for the life and work of Brother Roger.

The Pontiff prayed that the Taizé Community might always maintain the very powerful testimony Brother Roger gave to the risen Christ and the call he constantly renewed to “choose to love.”


Brother Roger was stabbed to death during the evening prayer service in Taizé on 16 August 2005 by a young Romanian woman named Luminița Ruxandra Solcan who was later deemed mentally ill. His funeral took place on 23 August 2005 and was attended by Horst Köhler, the President of Germany, and Nicolas Sarkozy, at that time Minister of the Interior of France. The Protestant monk’s funeral was presided over by Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who celebrated the Mass with four priest-brothers of Taizé concelebrating.


BROTHER (LATER FATHER) MAX THURIAN (1921-96) was the subprior of the Taizé community, an ecumenical monastic community in France. He was the subprior from the time of its inception in the 1940s. During the Second Vatican Council, he was invited by Pope Paul VI to participate in the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, under the belief that Protestants could receive holy communion along with Roman Catholics.  This is false, however, as Catholic Church law forbids non-Catholics from reception of communion.  In May 1988, Thurian converted to Roman Catholicism and was ordained a priest.  In a complete turn of events in July 1996, Thurian published an article in L’Osservatore Romano that he was actually dissatisfied with conciliar reformation, in that the Mass “has lost its character of mystery.”

SCHUTZ, Roger (Brother Roger) (1915-2005)

    bottom of page