Source: Religion News Service
A 58-year-old former surveying technician from Belgium has taken up his new post as the official hermit of Saalfelden, living in a hut-sized chapel built into a cliff in the mountains of western Austria.
Stan Vanuytrecht was one of about 70 candidates from the United States, India, Australia and several other countries who applied for the unpaid position at one of Europe’s last hermitages.
The job advertisement specified the candidate must be at peace with oneself” and “a connection to Christian belief.”
Vanuytrech, who speaks fluent German, is a Catholic deacon who went through a period of poverty following a divorce, an experience he said helped prepare him for his new job.
The 350-year-old Roman Catholic hermitage, in the province of Salzburg, has no power, no running water and no heat. But it does have stunning views of a snow-covered glacier.
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