A hermit (adjectival form: heremitic) is a person who lives, to some degree, in seclusion from society.
In Christianity, the term was originally applied to a Christian who lives the heremitic life out of a religious conviction, namely the Desert Theology of the Old Testament (i.e., the forty years wandering in the desert that was meant to bring about a change of heart).
In the Christian tradition the eremitic life is an early form of monastic living that preceded the monastic life in the cenobium. The Rule of St Benedict (ch. 1) lists hermits among four kinds of monks. In the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to hermits who are members of religious institutes, contemporary Roman Catholic Church law (canon 603) recognizes also consecrated hermits under the direction of their diocesan bishop as members of the Consecrated Life ("consecrated diocesan hermits"). The same is true in many parts of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church in the US, although in the canon law of the Episcopal Church they are referred to as "solitaries" rather than "hermits".
Often, both in religious and secular literature, the term "hermit" is also used loosely for any Christian living a secluded prayer-focused life, and sometimes interchangeably with anchorite / anchoress, recluse and "solitary". Other religions – for example Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam (Sufism) and Taoism – also have hermits in the sense of individuals living an ascetic form of life.
In modern colloquial usage, the term "hermit" denotes anyone living a life apart from the rest of society, or who simply does not participate in social events as much as is common, regardless of their motivation in doing so, including the misanthrope.
Other articles related to "hermit, hermits":
... the knight errant frequently encounters hermits on his quest such a figure, generally a wise old man, would advise him ... Evil wizards would sometimes pose as hermits, to explain their presence in the wilds, and to lure heroes into a false sense of security ... The Faerie Queene, both occurred the knight on a quest met a good hermit, and the sorcerer Archimago took on such a pose ...
... according to The Prologue from Ochrid, was the spiritual mentor of Venerable John the Hermit of Armenia circa the fourth century ... angels brought him his daily bread, which in Christian love he shared with his hermit brother John who lived in strict seclusion ... Saint Pharmutius is remembered along with John the Hermit by the Eastern Orthodox Church on 29 March ...
... Rose Vista Macaroni Verdure Arcadia 1887 Isonomy Sterling Isola Bella Distant Shore Hermit* Lands End Dam Mother Siegel (GB) 1897 Friar's Balsam 1885 Hermit* Newminster ...
... a weight of 2-3 g, it is among the smaller species of hermits ... As in most other hermits, it has a long, decurved bill ... The Stripe-throated Hermit has, together with several other small hermits, often been considered a subspecies of the Little Hermit (P ...
... The Streak-throated Hermit (Phaethornis rupurumii), also known as the Rupurumi Hermit, is a species of hummingbird in the Trochilidae family ... It was formerly considered a subspecies of the Dusky-throated Hermit ... The Streak-throated Hermit is found in forest, woodland and dense shrub in north-eastern South America ...
Famous quotes containing the word hermit:
“There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the place of their self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran”
—Sam Walter Foss (18581911)
“Yet, hermit and stoic as he was, he was really fond of sympathy, and threw himself heartily and childlike into the company of young people whom he loved, and whom he delighted to entertain, as he only could, with the varied and endless anecdotes of his experiences by field and river: and he was always ready to lead a huckleberry-party or a search for chestnuts and grapes.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“If a hermit lives in a state of ecstasy, his lack of comfort becomes the height of comfort. He must relinquish it.”
—Jean Cocteau (18891963)