A Franciscan monastery in Cochabamba, Bolivia has welcomed a new four-legged member into their order – a stray dog named Carmelo.
In Roman Catholic Tradition, St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals, and it seems only fitting for one of the Franciscan monastery’s new followers to be a dog. The abandoned pup was lovingly accepted by the fraternity, and he quickly claimed the “cutest member” spot – of course, without protest from the other friars!
To formally include him as their newest recruit, the brothers christened him with his own holy name: Friar Bigotón. The name translates to “Brother Mustache“, which perfectly fits the little schnauzer’s appearance. He was also given a custom-made habit that he proudly wears within the monastery’s premises.
It’s safe to say that the dog’s life has taken a 360-degree turn for the better.
“His life is all about playing and running,” friar Jorge Fernandez told The Dodo. “Here, all of the brothers love him very much. He is a creature of God.”
When he isn’t having fun, Friar Bigotón makes it a point to attend to his religious duties in the monastery such as “preaching to the fish” and roaming the grounds – all while keeping his brown robe clean.
But his biggest role was this: helping other homeless dogs like him.
Brother Mustache’s adoption was made possible by a local animal rescue organization named The Cold Nose Project (Proyecto Narices Frias). The brothers hope that Friar Bigotón’s heartwarming story will inspire other religious groups to follow in their footsteps and welcome pets in need into their sanctuary.
“If only all the churches of our country adopt a dog and care for him like Friar Bigotón, we are sure that the parishioners would follow his example,” the group wrote in a Facebook post.
Hopefully, we would be seeing more dogs adopted into monasteries just like how Brother Mustache was lovingly welcomed by the Franciscan brothers.
Share this story and help spread the word!