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Diocesan Hermit

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Exterior shot of brick-faced building

What is a Diocesan Hermit?  A Canonical Eremite explains:

A Diocesan Hermit is one who is directly vowed to Obedience (as well as Poverty and Chastity) to a diocesan bishop.  It is similar to the distinction between a "diocesan priest" and a "religious priest."
 
Before Vatican II, only established members of religious orders received permission from superiors to go and live as hermits.  Vatican II restored the notion of  "the Order of Virgins"--consecrated virgins living alone or in groups--and the "Order of  Hermits."  Canonical hermits serve the Church in public vows, but come directly from the laity.  Many have been a lay member of a religious order for years; this is just the natural "next step," drawn by a powerful urging of grace.  Many have been married and are now single.
 
A diocesan hermit can live strictly alone out somewhere in the wilds, or in the city, anonymous to all but a few priests, etc.  Many choose--for safety, support, etc.--to live in loose groups of hermits called Laura or Lavra.  In the Desert of Skete in Egypt, during and after the time of St. Antony the Great of Egypt, father of monks, the early hermits rarely lived alone, but in groups of 2, 3, or 4, usually learners with a master.  So "hermitages"--the places where they live and pray--are often called "skete" or "skeet." 

Please click here to return to the "Hermitages" page.

St. Antony of the Desert, and all Holy Hermits, pray for us!

"Do not rouse my love until it please to wake."  (Song of Songs)