Frere Antoine, French hermit

Brother Antoine spent years in various abbeys, interspersed with work and travel, and became aware of humanitarian work in India. Then he spent thirty years alone in a cave in Dieulefit,  small village in Haute Provence, France, though punctuated by several trips to India. He had learned of a jungle school founded on Gandhian principles and taught there a few months.

Frere Antoine published four books during his hermitage days: Une bouffée d’ermite (A Hermit Breathes), La  voie du rocher (The Way of the Rock), Le cosmomoine (The Cosmic Friar ), and Au cœur de la grotte (At the Heart of the Cave).

Frere Antoine decided to end his solitude.

I left my cave as I was becoming a strange beast, and I was constantly disturbed by tourists, so I decided to go elsewhere. … I learned at the same time that I had the right to a small pension for my old age, I, who live on only a hundred francs a month. It was then that I decided to go to India with the money and give a party to this school in the jungle!

That was in the mid 1990’s. Frere Antoine learned that in northern India, an ongoing humanitarian campaign rallies hundreds of volunteer physicians, medical students, and local assistants to treat people, especially children, suffering vision problems from cataracts to blindness. Antoine has joined this work.

French filmmaker Bruno Vienne has documented Frere Antoine’s life as a hermit and a humanitarian helper in India in the film: Frère Antoine – Ballade pour un Ermite.

Film summary:
YouTube two and a half minute short:

Thanks to a Hermitary friend for bring this to our attention.

Everglades hermits

The Butler and Bagman Chronicles is a blog by Mark Cowell about his personal interests. But he is also the son of Al Seely, an Everglades hermit mentioned in our 2004 article on the Florida Everglades hermits. In a set of entries with keyword “hermit”, Cowell notes that Al Seely was an alcoholic, and that his hermiting adventure was motivated by a diagnosis of fatal liver cirrhosis; he ventured to the Everglades to either survive or die — and he survived. A blog entry also mentions E. F. Atkinson, another hermit profiled in the 2004 article.

French hermit Adalbert De Vogue interviewed

Adalbert De Vogue (born 1924) has been a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Pierre-qui-Vire, France, since 1944. In 1974 he entered a hermitage on the abbey grounds and has remained a hermit since, researching and writing histories of monasticism and the monks of antiquity and the early Middle Ages.

A rare half-hour video interview (of a young Adalbert) titled “Se vaincre soi-même” or “To Conquer the Self” was produced by CBC Television (Canada) and is available at For best results, download the video rather than attempt to launch it from the website: right click the link and select “Save Target As” or “Save Link As.”

Thanks to friend of Hermitary for bringing it to our attention.