Portland, Oregon hermit nun Sister Mariam Sharbel Vianney has pursued a long and difficult path to eremitism, as this profile article shows. The career nurse lived through a difficult marriage, subsequently dissolved, raised a son, became a Catholic convert, and today is a cancer survivor. Alone, she wanted to make of her house a private hermitage, but eventually she sought out canonical status.
“Hermits do not do it for themselves. They do it for God and for the church,” she explains. “They do it for all those beloved brothers and sisters who have been called to a different vocation, who long to be with God, but who in their vocation are with him differently.”
If the life sounds like all sweetness, Sister Mariam issues a caution: “Being a hermit is not for the faint-hearted.”