World Religion News reports:
MEET FRIAR MOUSTACHE, A FOUR-LEGGED MONK IN BOLIVIA
FRIAR POOCH IS CAPTURING HEARTS ON THE INTERNET.
There is a new monk at St. Francis Monastery, Cochabamba, Bolivia. Unlike other monks, Friar Carmelo walks on four legs and preaches to the fish. This is because the Friar, who also goes by the nickname Friar Moustache, is a schnauzer. The monks adopted this small dog around December, and then dressed him up in traditional habit. Friar Carmelo the schnauzer became an Internet sensation after he was photographed by a visitor.
St. Francis Monastery is not a place where one expects to find humor. It seems, however, a few monks do have an excellent sense of humor. The picture of the adopted dog was first posted by Kasper Mariusz Kapron OFM (Order of Friars Minor). He said theology students of the church began to dress the dog in orthodox Franciscan clothing. The colloquial name of OFM clergy is Franciscans.
For the friars in the monastery, the whole thing of a dog being dressed up in monk attire came from having a spot of fun. Incidentally, there is another monk with the name Friar Carmelo in the monastery. The human Friar has a mustache, and this became the inspiration of naming the schnauzer Carmelo.
The bit of fun was further extended by dressing the dog up in church clothes. The monks stressed that dressing up animals is not a standard monastic practice and the dog does not wear a monk’s habit every day. The monastery was forced to clarify their stand after being flooded with requests and calls from people who wanted to visit them. For Friar Carmelo, its days and nights are spent running through the said monastery and peering into its pools. A number of monks cuddle it. This is appropriate as St. Francis of Assisi is regarded as animals’ patron saint and he founded the Franciscan order.
As to Friar Carmelo, the monks of the Franciscan order have described him as possessing a naughty streak. He hides things in the monastery’s garden and bites everything. Many residents have also described him as a loyal companion who brought many a joy.