‘One man told me that Our Lady had told him to come and live in a tent in my garden’

12 October 2013 | by Sara Maitland

Last week I had another email from someone looking for a hermitage. I do not have an overwhelming number of such letters, but since I published A Book of Silence in 2008, and especially since I have been writing this column, I have received a small but steady trickle. Some of these letters are from formally consecrated hermits, regulated since 1983 under canon 603 of the Code of Canon Law, which lays down that “a hermit is recognised 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”. Most of these have had a hermitage in the past and for one reason or another are being

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