“I Nuovi Eremiti” is an Italian-language “blog dedicated to new hermits, metropolitan monks, and contemplatives. Articles, reviews, experiences, new communities and more. The blog aims to be a virtual meeting point for those laypersons who live experiences of contemplative life, eremitism, semi-eremitism, and for those who live following the principles of internalized monasticism.” The site is run by the anonymous “Pilgrim” since 2008. Entries are infrequent but useful in identifying the Catholic tradition of hermit spirituality in the contemporary world.
Media site Insider offers an item titled “Intimate photos show what it’s really like to be a modern-day hermit.” Among the hermits are some familiar, some less so: Rachel Denton (UK), Masafumi Nagasaki (Japan), Barry Edgar Pilcher (Ireland), Viktor (Siberia), Sostis (Greece), Valentin Pantin, wife Ekaterina, and four children, (Russia), Yiorgos (Greece), and several others.
India Today adds an update titled “See the daily routine an Old Believer hermit living in Siberia” re Agafya Lykov, the Russian hermit living in Siberia, who is regularly reported on in this blog and is the subject of several film documentaries. In December 2018, the 74-year old Agafya contacted a journalist because she lacked essential supplies, and a delivery of food, medicine and hay were delivered. Includes a short video from Ruptly (Russia Today, RT); see below.
Eremo is a Switzerland-based web site on the subject of the hermit life, edited and maintained by Brother Markus. The dominant tradition is Hinduism, but Brother Markus includes Buddhist and Christian mystics as resources in his articles on various aspects of eremitism, and in his recommended readings. The Hindu term “Brahmacharya” is emblematic, defined as “a lifestyle adopted to enable one to attain the Ultimate Reality.” And that lifestyle is the lifestyle of the hermit, supplemented by the practice of virtue, meditation, yoga, and careful readings of classic sages. The site is in German, with English and Spanish translations of the site as options. Supplemented by photos of Brother Markus’ hermitage and environs.
Mauro Morandi, a 79-year old hermit on the small island of Budelli in southern Italy for nearly thirty years, is threatened with eviction, reports Il Globo.
Budelli was recently incorporated into Sardinia’s Maddalena Archipelago national park, and authorities claim that his presence on the island is incompatible with that designation. Morandi, who survived an eviction attempt several years ago due to thousands of petitions on his behalf, argues that, on the contrary, his presence protects the isalnd’s fauna and flora from the neglect of tourists and other island visitors.
XinhuaNet features a story on a wilderness couple devoting their lives as caretakers of an ancient and neglected forestland in China. “For about two decades, Luo Yuxiong and her husband Zhao Jinshan have led a life of solitude in the barren land in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.” Details their decades-long environmental work to restore forest to a once-ravaged area.
A brief 2:28 CNN video update on Father Dario Escobar the hermit: “Meet the hermit who’s the last of his kind: Father Dario Escobar lives high in the mountains of Lebanon and is the region’s last remaining hermit. CNN’s Ben Wedeman journeys to speak with Father Dario, who is not as isolated as one might think.
Photographer Ricardo Ramos has posted an entry on the “Bored Panda” website titled “I Photographed A Series Featuring People Who Live In Constant Solitude.” Ramos explains that he traveled to Portugal’s Trás os Montes region,”which in English means ‘behind the mountains,’ known for villages with less than 10 inhabitants,” where he captured a series of intriguing photographic portraits. The photos have been added to a National Geographic gallery as well. Explains Ramos:
“Those little villages have mostly elderly population as young people left a long time ago in search of a better life. So many of the residents continue the same lifestyle their grandparents had for years.
Many of those villages are untouched by technology; television and cell phones are a rarity. People survive mainly from agricultural production and sheep farming. During winter, these elderly people spend days or even weeks without leaving the house because of the cold. But the greatest obstacle they have to deal with on a daily basis is loneliness.
I joined a young team of the PII project (Proximity to the Isolated Elderly) that regularly visits seniors who are living alone. The goal of this project is to ward off the loneliness of these people and improve their quality of life.
The people I’ve met have fantastic stories that I could listen to for hours.”