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This hermit-nun hasn’t spoken for 16 years. But here’s what she tells us

Sr. Miriam of the Cross belongs to the community of nuns in the Carmelite Convent of Merciful Love in the Polish city of Szczecin, but she did not want to be an “ordinary” nun and thus chose the life of a hermit.

How can we understand her choice in a world that is so allergic to silence?

This woman leads an incredible life, some might say an unnatural life. It is unnatural in that we are created as social beings, to be in relationship with others. Without relationships, life could result in a mental illness. But Miriam of the Cross, with 16 years of silence, can tell us a lot.

What is her message? We can read it in her publications and learn about it from those who have met her.

For her fellow-nuns in the Szczecin convent she is the one who supports them with her silent prayer and testifies to the value of silence, offering a chance for a profound encounter with God. For the people around her, she is a question mark and sometimes an exclamation point.

Her hermitage is a small hut separated by the enclosure wall from the Carmelite convent. Contrary to what we might expect, it is not located in the depth of some woods or in a far-flung corner of a remote village, in an inaccessible place. Nothing of this sort.

The Carmelite Convent of Merciful Love, where Miriam’s hermitage is located, is a hallmark of the Szczecin district of Golęcin. Right outside its walls we can find a primary school, an oncology clinic, a retreat house, a parish office and a presbytery, as well as an outpatient clinic and a night shelter run by Caritas, the biggest Polish charity run by the Church. It is, then, a place surrounded by the hustle and bustle of daily life. And it is here that we can encounter the only woman in Poland who has taken the vow of perpetual silence.

Read more at Aleteia. 

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