Saint Jerome, who lived as a hermit near Bethlehem, depicted in his study being visited by two angels (Cavarozzi, early 17th century)
Eremitic cave in Spain
Church of the hermitage "Our Lady of the Enclosed Garden" in Warfhuizen, Netherlands
St. Seraphim of Sarov sharing his meal with a bear
Two Sadhus, Hindu hermits
Hsu Yun, a renowned Chan Buddhist hermit
In Orlando Furioso, Angelica meets a hermit

Eremite or solitary, is a person who lives in seclusion.

- Hermit

500 related topics



Anchorite or anchoret is someone who, for religious reasons, withdraws from secular society so as to be able to lead an intensely prayer-oriented, ascetic, or Eucharist-focused life.

Anchorite's cell in Holy Trinity Church, Skipton.
Christina Carpenter was walled in to a cell in St James's Church in Shere, Surrey.
"The Anchorite" (1881), by Teodor Axentowicz.
Anthony the Great, father of Christian Monasticism and early anchorite. The Coptic inscription reads ' Ⲡⲓⲛⲓϣϯ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲁⲛⲧⲱⲛⲓ' or 'The Great Father Anthony'.

Whilst anchorites are frequently considered to be a type of religious hermit, unlike hermits they were required to take a vow of stability of place, opting for permanent enclosure in cells often attached to churches.


Person who lives in voluntary seclusion from the public and society.

Symeon of Trier

Historically, the word referred to a Christian hermit's total isolation from the world, with examples including Symeon of Trier, who lived within the great Roman gate Porta Nigra with permission from the Archbishop of Trier, or Theophan the Recluse, the 19th-century Orthodox Christian monk who was later glorified as a saint.

Hermitage (religious retreat)

West face of the Visigothic church called the Hermitage of Santa María de Lara.
A hermitage at Painshill Park.
Trinity hermitage at San Miguel de Aralar, Uharte-Arakil, Navarre.
Hermitage "Our Lady of the Enclosed Garden" in Warfhuizen, the Netherlands

A hermitage most authentically refers to a place where a hermit lives in seclusion from the world, or a building or settlement where a person or a group of people lived religiously, in seclusion.

Desert Fathers

Coptic icon of Anthony the Great
Image showing the important Desert Fathers and their interrelationships.
"Saint Macarius and a Cherub" from Saint Catherine's Monastery, Sinai, Egypt
Icon of Pachomius
Icon of Arsenius the Great, notable Desert Father

The Desert Fathers or Desert Monks were early Christian hermits and ascetics, who lived primarily in the Scetes desert of the Roman province of Egypt, beginning around the third century AD.


The Carthusians, also known as the Order of Carthusians (Ordo Cartusiensis), are a Latin enclosed religious order of the Catholic Church.

Painting by Sebastiano Ricci (1659–1734) depicting the founder of the Carthusians, Bruno of Cologne (c. 1030-1101), revering Mary, mother of Jesus and adoring the Christ Child, with Hugh of Lincoln (1135–1200) looking on in the background.
Carthusian monk depicted in Petrus Christus's painting Portrait of a Carthusian.
A typical Carthusian plan: Clermont, drawn by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, 1856.
The Grande Chartreuse is the head monastery of the Carthusian order.
Painting from the Carthusian cloister of Nuestra Señora de las Cuevas in Seville by Francisco de Zurbarán. The scene depicts Hugh of Grenoble in a Carthusian monastery.

The order has its own rule, called the Statutes, and their life combines both eremitical and cenobitic monasticism.


Monastic order of Pontifical Right for men founded by Saint Romuald.

Camaldolese Priory of Bielany in Kraków, Poland
St. Romuald
Former Camaldolese monastery in Červený Kláštor in Slovakia
Fra Mauro of the Camaldolese Monastery of St. Michael in Murano, Venice (c.1459)
Former Camaldolese hermitage in Wigry, Poland

950-1025/27). His reform sought to renew and integrate the eremitical tradition of monastic life with that of the cenobium.

Rule of Saint Benedict

Book of precepts written in 516 by Benedict of Nursia (c.

The oldest copy of the Rule of Saint Benedict, from the eighth century (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Hatton 48, fols. 6v–7r)
Saint Benedict writing the rules. Painting (1926) by Hermann Nigg (1849–1928).
Saint Benedict delivering his rule to the monks of his order, Monastery of St. Gilles, Nimes, France, 1129
Ora et Labora (Pray and Work). This 1862 painting by John Rogers Herbert depicts monks at work in the fields

2) Anchorites, or hermits, who, after long successful training in a monastery, are now coping single-handedly, with only God for their help.[[File:Benedictus - Regula, Anno domini MCCCCLXXXXV die XXVII otubrio - 2472028 ib00310000 TMD MASTER IMG Scan00011.tif|thumb|Regula, 1495]]

Anthony the Great

Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint.

San Antonio Abad, portrait by Francisco de Zurbarán in 1664
Painting of Saint Anthony, a part of The Visitation with Saint Nicholas and Saint Anthony Abbot by Piero di Cosimo,
Four tales on Anthony the Great by Vitale da Bologna, c. 1340, at the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna
A copy by the young Michelangelo after an engraving by Martin Schongauer around 1487–1489, The Torment of Saint Anthony. Oil and tempera on panel. One of many artistic depictions of Saint Anthony's trials in the desert.
The Meeting of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul of Thebes, Master of the Osservanza, 15th century, with the centaur at the background.
Pilgrimage banners from the shrine in Warfhuizen
Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye, Isère, France

For the next fifteen years, Anthony remained in the area, spending the first years as the disciple of another local hermit.

Monastic cell

Cell of Saint Teresa de Ávila in the Convent of Saint Joseph
Sketch of a monk's cell in the Grande Chartreuse
Dormitory at the Monastery Filotheou on Mount Athos

A cell is a small room used by a hermit, monk, nun or anchorite to live and as a devotional space.


The Cistercians, officially the Order of Cistercians ((Sacer) Ordo Cisterciensis, abbreviated as OCist or SOCist), are a Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that branched off from the Benedictines and follow the Rule of Saint Benedict.

Coat of arms of the Cistercians
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, one of the most influential early Cistercians, seen here depicted in a historiated initial.
Vietnamese Cistercian monks standing in a cloister and wearing their religious habits
An illumination of Stephen Harding (right) presenting a model of his church to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Municipal Library, Dijon). Cîteaux, c. 1125. At this period Cistercian illumination was the most advanced in France, but within 25 years it was abandoned altogether under the influence of Bernard of Clairvaux.
Saint Benedict and Saint Bernard (1542), by Diogo de Contreiras. Saint Bernard is depicted in the white cowl of the Cistercians.
The spread of Cistercians from their original sites in Western-Central Europe during the Middle Ages
Tintern Abbey, founded in 1131
The ruins of Melrose Abbey, mother house of the Cistercians in Scotland
The houses affiliated with the Abbey of Savigny merged with the Cistercian Order.
Cistercian abbey in Bélapátfalva, Hungary
The royal Alcobaça Monastery, founded in Portugal in 1153
The now-ruined Mellifont Abbey, the centre of medieval Irish Cistercian monasticism and of the "Mellifont rebellion"
Pope Benedict XII
Rievaulx Abbey, confiscated by Henry VIII along with its blast furnace at Laskill
View of the Lilienfeld Cistercian Abbey, 1747
The "pure", unadorned style of Cistercian architecture at the 12th century Royal Monastery of Santa María de Veruela
Cistercian architecture was applied based on rational principles.
Plan of the church of Abbaye de Fontenay
Fountains Abbey – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Vaux-de-Cernay Abbey in Yvelines, France
The highly elaborate 14th-century tomb of Peter I of Portugal in Alcobaça
Cistercians at work in a detail from the Life of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, illustrated by Jörg Breu the Elder (1500)
The Cistercians helped facilitate the spread of waterwheel technology.
Liturgical celebration in the Cistercian Abbey of Acey in France
Cistercian monks in Lourdes.
Cistercian Abbot General Leopold Wackarž, a monk of Hohenfurth Abbey
Amadeus de Bie, Abbot General 1900-1920
Mauro-Giuseppe Lepori, Abbot General since 2010
Prioress of the Cistercian abbey of Saint Mary of Rieunette near Carcassonne, France.

Chief among Robert's followers included Alberic, a former hermit from the nearby forest of Colan, and Stephen Harding, a member of an Anglo-Saxon noble family which had been ruined as a result of the Norman conquest of England.