Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

19 June 2010

Legenda fratrum, pars XXII

Okay, this time you must be acquainted with old American advertisements to fully appreciate this story.

From the founding of our Order in the 1500's until 1968, every member was required to wear a beard, which were supposed to indicate that we were "manly, natural and austere". By the 1940's, however, many American brothers were anxious to send their beard down the drain. When an American brother from Milwaukee was elected as head of the Order in 1946, many American brothers thought he would do away with the requirement. Unfortunately for them, he did not abolish the rule. In fact, not only did he keep his beard for his entire term of office, he actually let it grow longer and bushier, or shall we say, more "natural".

Piqued by this development—or lack thereof—, an American brother dubbed it, "the beard that made Milwaukee famous".


Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

That's funny! I wonder if the Smith Brothers of cough drop fame were members of your order, too.

29 June, 2010 03:52  
Blogger joven said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

08 August, 2010 12:00  

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