By Billy Ryan
When you think of a Catholic monastery, a stray dog is probably not what first comes to mind. However, for the St. Francis Monastery of Cochabamba, Bolivia, he is their newest member.
The monastery is named after the patron saint of animals, so it’s only fitting that the latest addition to their friary is quite literally a dog. The former stray was taken in by the monks after living on the streets.
The furry pup who has been nicknamed named “Friar Bigotón”, or Friar Moustache in English, is an honorary brother with his own adorable little Franciscan habit and responsibilities.
“His life is all about playing and running,” remarked Friar Jorge Fernandez. “Here, all of the brothers love him very much. He is a creature of God.”
When Friar Bigotón isn’t running or playing, he likes to visit and preach to the fish in the monastery’s pond.
His biggest role as a brother, however, is to help other pets like him. The local animal rescue group that helped find him a home wishes that his story will serve to inspire other monasteries to do the same and help pets in need across the country.
“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.”