Eremitic LifeCrucifix

 What is a Diocesan Anchoress?

An Eremitic Calling

Canon 603

§1. Besides institutes of consecrated life, the Church recognizes the eremitic or anchoritic life by which the Christian faithful devote their life to the praise of God and salvation of the world through a stricter separation from the world, the silence of solitude and assiduous prayer and penance.

§2. A hermit is recognized in the law as one dedicated to God in a consecrated life if he or she publicly professes the three evangelical counsels, confirmed by a vow or other sacred bond, in the hands of the diocesan bishop and observes his or her own plan of life under his direction.

There are numerous books and articles describing the eremitic life. Below, please find a short list. Desert dwellers reach back to the 3rd century, on through the middle ages, and up to the present century where both men and women continue to follow Christ along a desert path.

Today, individuals called to this ancient form of consecrated life are scattered about our globe. Each lives according to their own Rule approved by their bishop.

What all have in common is a commitment, under vow to their bishop, to live poorly, chastely, and obediently a life of prayer within the silence of solitude.

You may have many wonderments concerning the eremtic life. My desire is to bring this form of consecrated life to your awareness and allow the scholars to share the wealth of their knowledge.

Books and Articles

Edited by A. M. Allchin
Solitude and Communion

Farag, Lois
Balance of the Heart
Desert Spirituality for Twenty-First-Century Christians

Camaldolese Hermit
In Praise of Hiddenness

Cistercian Publication
The Hermitage Within

Wencel,, Fr. Cornelius
The Eremitic Life

Laird, O.S.A., Martin
Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation (Book 1)

Laird, O.S.A., Martin
A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation (Book 2)

Laird, O.S.A., Martin
An Ocean of Light: Contemplation, Transformation, and Liberation (Book 3)

Burrows, OCD, Sr. Ruth
Essence of Prayer

Marlene Weisenbeck FSPA, Ph.D., J.C.L.
Guidebook for Eremitic Life

Clay, Rotha Mary
The Hermits and Anchorites of England


Warren, Ann K.
Anchorites and Their Patrons in Medieval England

Fairhurst, Richard
What Are Anchorites?

~ Our Lady of Tenderness, pray for us! ~