Louis Chauvel, aka Brother Antoine, was born in 1923 and has lived in the cave since 1966. The man had withdrawn from the world after being sent to military prison for a transcription error in his documents. “I had a twisted mind, and I was looking for a place that was as twisted as I was,” he explained.
The Cistercian spent his days praying, meditating and writing. The hermit was not averse to visitors, but as a sign clearly indicated: “Antoine’s cave is not a tourist curiosity, but a place of brotherly encounter”. He talked to walkers about philosophy and spirituality.
After a heavy fall in October 2017, he had no choice but to leave his cave. After first being accommodated in a retirement home, he has been welcomed in the municipality of Dieulefit in the Drôme since 2020. There he stayed with a traveling companion with whom he had gone to India 20 years ago. According to a friend, monk Antoine wanted to ‘die with the feeling that he had nothing left to do on earth’.
He was ‘an example of love, of simplicity, and of generosity’.
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