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Concerning the solitary life of a hermit. In Christianity, the earliest hermits were the Desert Fathers of third-century Egypt. Some religious orders, like the Carthusians, retain elements of the eremitic lifestyle in their rule. They live in separate dwellings but gather for meals and worship. See Hermit, Hermitess. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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