The monastic ideal involves complete renunciation of the world, and that struggle against oneself which is necessary for the soul’s ascent towards God. Those who, in every age, have been most faithful to this ideal have been the "desert dwellers" – hermits laboring in prayer and asceticism, hidden far away not only from the seductive tumult of the world, but even from their monastic brothers and sisters. In this way, men and women called to this path have worked out their salvation, from the very beginning of Christianity even until modern times.
Within the pages of this book one enters into the world of several of these God-pleasing righteous ones: Maria of Olonets, Anastasia of Padan, Elder Isaiah and others. Having lived in Russia about one hundred years ago, their holy example can still inspire the hearts of 20th-century readers. This new edition includes material never before printed in English, and is supplemented with a whole series of recently drawn illustrations. Softbound. 111 pp.