A Franciscan monastery in Cochabamba, Bolivia, recently made international headlines after adopting an abandoned schnauzer and making him one of their own.
How the “world’s hairiest Franciscan monk” ended up at the San Francisco de Cochabamba monastery, four months ago, is still a mystery, but what matters is that he’s now one of the family. Named Carmelo, the adorable schnauzer has become known as Fray Bigotón (Spanish for ‘Friar Mustache’) on the internet, after photos of him dressed in his own little Franciscan robe went viral online.
According to Catholic traditions, St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals. And that’s why Carmelo joining the order is probably apt.
Before being taken in at the monastery, Friar Bigotón used to be a stray dog. Now, he is the most popular guy at the holy place. Jorge Fernandez, another friar said,
“His life is all about playing and running. Here, all of the brothers love him very much. He is a creature of god.”
Proyecto Narices Frias, a Bolivian animal rescue organization also picked up the photos of Fray Bigotón, and also posted a message encouraging more churches and monasteries to follow the example of San Francisco de Cochabamba. “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 their example,” they wrote.