The Hermits of Saint Francis Sanctuary are inspired by the philosophies of two different mystics – St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and St. Francis of Paola (1416-1507).
St. Francis of Assisi is the most famous and renowned of all the Catholic saints. Though he resisted his own desire to live as a solitary hermit, he set forth a simple rule for those who chose to live in this way, even for short periods of time. In this rule he wrote:
“Not more than three or at most four friars should go together to a hermitage to lead a religious life there. Two of these should act as mothers, with the other two, or the other one, as children. The Mothers are to lead the life of Martha; the other two, the life of Mary Magdalene...They are forbidden to allow anyone to enter the enclosure where they live, and they must not take their meals there.”
St. Francis of Paola, who was a Franciscan Friar, took this to the next level, founding a new order called “The Order of Minums,” often referred to as “The Hermits of St. Francis.” The two major movements in this order were humility and non-violence. The word Minum refers to living as the smallest or least, or embracing radical humility and simplicity. The call to non-violence was expressed through veganism, or not doing harm to any creature.