It is a life-long decision for which they have been preparing for several years. They live in hermitages and earn their living by the work of their own hands. Contrary to appearances, they do not completely cut themselves off from people, because hermit life should not be treated as an escape from the world. Are they not lonely? – Sometimes people ask how can you live alone? I also do not know how you can live alone, in a hermitage you live with God, not alone! – said after the ceremony Sr. Anuncjata, who will live in a hermitage in the village of Żar.
- The first hermits, called anachorettes, appeared around the 3rd century in Egypt and Palestine
- Modern hermits and hermits live their lives in solitude, far from urban buildings, but do not completely isolate themselves from people
- They live according to a rule they have drawn up that describes the exact schedule of the day
- Most hermitage vows were made in France. Only a dozen or so such people live in Poland
- More such content can be found on the main page of Onet.pl
On September 10, in the Cathedral of St. Stanisław Kostka, Sr. Anuncjata and Sr. Maria Teresa of Jesus Crucified became hermits. During the vows, the Archbishop of Łódź, Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś said that hermit life “is not a choice of solitude, it is a choice of communion with Jesus in his Body and Blood, and thus a choice of communion with the whole Church.” Who are modern hermits and what is their life like?
Who are the hermits?
A hermit can be both a lay person and a spiritual person who has reached 30 years of age, but among the dozen or so women who have decided to live in Poland in this way, the vast majority are nuns. Preparation for a hermit life takes about 10 years, although it sometimes takes longer. “A hermit cannot be a” savage “or someone who” is in the clouds “, explained Fr Andrzej Muszala in an interview with Onet.
During this time, the person who decides to take hermit vows prepares to live in solitude, studies the basic works of theology, and practices silent prayer. This happens under the supervision of a clergyman responsible for preparing the future hermit or hermit for a new life. After several years of preparation, the candidate may take the first vows of the evangelical councils, and only after a dozen or so take perpetual vows.
What is the life of a hermit? The rhythm of life adapted to prayer
Every hermit must have its own hermitage, that is, a remote place, away from neighbors, where she will live until her death. Many hermits choose the sparsely populated areas of the Bieszczady Mountains, as well as small villages where it is not difficult to live in isolation. The first hermit in the Opole diocese, Maria Electa of Jesus (Helena Jaworska), who took hermitage vows in 2019, lived in the 19th century hermitage in Bryksy near Gościęcin. Previously, another hermit lived there, and the place was renovated by the parishioners. Sr. Anita, who had been preparing for hermit life for fifteen years and was the first hermit in the Elbląg diocese, lived in the former rectory next to the church in Mątowy Wielkie. Sr. Teresa of Jesus Crucified, who took hermitage vows in September in Łódź, will live in Tomaszów Mazowiecki.
The hermit lives according to the rules she has laid down, which must be approved by the bishop. The highlights of the day and night (because some liturgies are held, for example, at two in the morning) are the practice of contemplative prayer, meditation and study of the scriptures, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The rhythm of the day is subordinated, as in the law, to prayer. The hermit must also take care of herself and her livelihood. The day is also filled with gardening, preparing meals, minor repairs and work thanks to which the hermit earns her living (she can also accept alms). What do hermits most often live on? From sculpture, painting, herb picking, hand-made preserves and honey. Once a month, sometimes less frequently, a selected person comes to the hermitage to take handicrafts or food products from the hermit, sell them, and then donate money to the hermits for maintenance.
The hermit can receive pilgrims and guests in a specially prepared room outside, although by definition, she should do it as rarely as possible. She cannot run away from people, she should help those who come for prayer or support. A hermit may also leave her hermitage, but this also must follow strict rules that were previously written in the rule.
Can a layperson become a hermit?
Although nuns are predominant among hermits, a layperson can also choose to live as a hermit. This was the case with Anna Markowska, who in 2019 took hermit vows in the Legnica diocese. Mrs. Anna, who is the mother of an adult son and worked in trade and kindergartens for many years, became a consecrated widow after her husband’s death, and after years of preparation she decided to become a hermit. He lives in his house in a small village near Jelenia Góra, which has been a hermitage for several years. In an interview with the legnica.fm website, Ms Anna admitted that she lives modestly and that her hermitage is open to anyone who needs to stay in silence and concentration.
Where do most hermits and hermits live?
According to Fr. They must have had the greatest tradition of hermit life, which dates back to the time of the first Christians, in France. Today there are over 400 hermits living there, and there are over a dozen such people in Poland. “In Poland, the partitions did a lot in this respect, which abolished almost all monasteries and destroyed monastic life,” explains priest Muszala. In the 20th century, there was actually only one outstanding hermit – Fr. Piotr Rostworowski. First a Benedictine in Tyniec, then a camaldolese in Bielany. He spent the end of his life in complete seclusion in Italy. For many years he was the confessor of Cardinal Wojtyła, who spoke about him: “the greatest Polish mystic ».
False hermits on YouTube
In April 2021, mother and daughter – “sister” Klara of Merciful Jesus and “sister” of Bruno of Mary, who lived a hermit life and activity in Częstochowa, were banned from using monastic habits and the title of “sister” by the Archbishop of Częstochowa from the Metropolitan Archbishop of Częstochowa. masses. The Częstochowa curia, which wanted to regulate the canonical situation of women, distanced itself from false hermits. The women refused to take hermitage vows. They were very active in social media, publishing videos and entries. According to Wirtualna Polska, in 2020 mother and daughter earned PLN 121,000 thanks to donations from observers. zlotys, received e-mail prayer intentions from the faithful.
– The Archdiocese of Częstochowa is not responsible for the activities of both women, for the published content it distances itself from the functioning of the so-called Hermitage of Our Lady of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa – informed Fr. Mariusz Bakalarz, press spokesman of the Archdiocese of Częstochowa. However, Bruno’s “sister” from Mary, whose YouTube account is subscribed to by over 18 thousand. people are still active on the Internet and despite the ban, still appear in the habit.
gosc.pl / legnica.fm / echokatolickie.pl / pielgrzym.pelplin.pl/ wp.pl
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