About to slice up an old enemy cornered in an alley, the prospective victim fell to his knees with outstretched arms emulating a cross and called upon mercy in the name of JESUS.
John stopped in his tracks, sheathed his sword and made tracks to the nearest monastery. He proffered prayers of forgiveness to a crucifix which bowed towards him. This was the proof he needed. Before long he was in a habit and set off to do the hermit thing.
He was not alone; the valley he chose was a regular hermitry, so they all got together and built a monastery of wood and mud.
There John formed his new order. Lots of silence, and lay brothers were exempt from choirs.
In time twelve more buildings were cobbled together from whatever was to hand. The shanty monastery was here, if not to stay.