Saint Romuald

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I celebrated the 6:30 Mass in the Basilica's Cappella di San Gregorio this evening. There was the usual assortment of pie donne and folks on the way home from work, many of them with a motorcycle helmet on the bench next to them. It being the feast of Saint Romuald, I used the Supplemento Monastico al Messale Romano which gives the following Collect and Preface for Saint Romuald. Although of recent composition and somewhat lacking in the dignity of more ancient Latin texts, they are not without a certain unction. The translation from the Italian is my own.



O Father of lights, from Whom descendeth every gift,
and Who didst grant unto Saint Romuald
perfect compunction of heart
and a deep spiritual intelligence of the Scriptures;
renew us, we beseeech Thee, by Thy Spirit,
so that, by the steady and diligent hearing of Thy word,
we may be conformed to Christ Thy Son.
Who with Thee liveth and reigneth
in the unity of the same Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.


It is truly meet and just,
right and availing unto salvation,
that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee,
O Lord, Father Almighty, and eternal God.

In Thy lovingkindness
Thou didst fill Saint Romuald,
the Father and Teacher of monks and hermits,
with the overflowing joy of lofty contemplation;

Thou didst enrich him with the light of the Prophets
and enflame him with the zeal of the Apostles;
Thus, by the silence of his tongue and the eloquence of his life
did he lead back many into the way of salvation.

For this gift of Thy bounty,
we join ourselves in exultation with the angels and the saints,
and so sing the hymn of Thy glory:


The Feast of St. Romuald is the day upon which I made my Profession of Vows as a Diocesan hermit. It has been eight years now. St. Romuald, please pray for me that I may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

Br Luke: What exactly is a diocesan hermit? I know they exist but have never encounter one. How many diocesan hermits are there in the USA? You must live an idiorrythmic life under the authority of the bishop? Where are these hermits in the USA?


A diocesan hermit is a person who has professed vows under the provisions of Canon 603 of the Code of Canon Law and lives his or her Rule of Life under the direction of and in obedience to the local Ordinary.

Can. 603 §1. In addition to institutes of consecrated life, the Church recognizes the eremitic or anchoritic life by which the Christian faithful devote their life to the praise of God and the salvation of the world through a stricter withdrawal from the world, the silence of solitude, and assiduous prayer and penance.

§2. A hermit is recognized by law as one dedicated to God in consecrated life if he or she publicly professes in the hands of the diocesan bishop the three evangelical counsels, confirmed by vow or other sacred bond, and observes a proper program of living under his direction.

I am not sure exactly how many there are living this vocation in the United States, but the number has grown within the past few years. They live quiet, hidden lives in dioceses throughout the U.S. The key to keeping the life authentic is fidelity to one’s Rule of Life and to the Church. Some have stricter Rules than others. As the Church did with the vocation of the diaconate, it also did when it sought to restore eremitic life to its earlier form when Canon Law was revised. Lack of space here prevents me from properly and fully addressing all of the nuances of this vocation and its practical implications. Hope this little bit helps answer your questions,though. Thanks, Don Marco, for providing this forum fordiscussion. May God bless you!

Thanks for the update. I'm grateful for the info. I recently became aware of The Fraternity of St Joseph who describe themselves in this way:

The Fraternity of St Joseph is a reality that sprang up spontaneously within the experience of Communion and Liberation.
It is a vocational form of life, taken up by men and women who intend to dedicate their lives to God, living the evangelical counsels of virginity, poverty and chastity, while remaining in their habitual circumstances of life.
Thus no communion of goods is foreseen nor, as a rule, a community life.
Those who participate in the Fraternity of St Joseph must be free from the bonds of marriage, in other words, widowed or unmarried.
The life of the Fraternity foresees a rule of life and prayer, and is guided by means of periodical common moments (Spiritual Exercises, Retreats) and more frequent meetings of the local groupings (normally weekly) which give shape to the experience.

Indeed, gratitude to Dom Mark for providing space on the blog for such interchanges.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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