Wednesday, May 22, 2013

10 Papal Beard Facts

I plan to do a post on 10 Awesome Papal Beards (and yes, I know that "Awesome Beards" is a tautology), but first let us note some Papal Beard Facts.

There have been a total of 266 Vicars of Christ. Out of these, 188 have had beards. That means 70% of the popes have had beards!

Out of the 188 bearded popes, 82 are saints and 2 are blesseds. 43% of bearded popes are saints.
Out of the 78 beardless popes, only 4 are saints and 5 are blesseds. Only 5% of beardless popes are saints.

There have been 86 total popes who are saints. 82 of these had beards. That is 95% of the papal saints!

For the first 643 years of the Church, Papal Beards reigned from 33AD with St. Peter to 676AD with Pope Adeodatus II.

The first pope sans beard, Pope Donus, is not a saint. Coincidence? I think not.

My face is cold.

The next pope after Donus was Agatho. He had a long and marvelous beard. Oh, and he's a saint.
Doesn't this halo look good with my beard?
After, Pope St. Agatho, beards reigned until 827AD with the election of Pope Valentine.

Also not a saint.
After Pope Valentine, there was a dispersion of beardless popes mixed with the bearded. The next stretch of bearded glory (with goatees towards the end) reigned from 1523AD to 1700AD, with the end of Pope Innocent XII's papacy.

Had Innocent XII known that he would be the last pope with facial hair, he surely would have grown a bushy beard like his namesake, Pope St. Innocent I!

His beard is a relic.
There have been 9 popes named Stephen. All of them had beards.
Here is a picture of Pope Stephen IX:

I was rocking this beard style way before Lincoln!
This guy would make a great Stephen X!

Ahem! My eyes are up here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

10 Reasons Why Catholic Men Should Have Beards

10. William Shakespeare
"The Bard" was a corruption of his real nickname: "The Beard"
He was Catholic and the greatest playwright to have ever lived. Also, he knew the value of a beard:
"He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man" -Much Ado About Nothing Act 2, Scene 1.

9. Aristotle
His beard is praeparatio for Christian beards.
Had he lived after the time of Christ, he surely would have been a Catholic. He is likewise the main philosophical source for the greatest theologian of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas (who, sadly, was beardless. But think of the heights he could have achieved had he been bearded!)

8. Scott Hahn
Scriptural Beard
I've lost track of how many converts his beard has made!

7. St. Jerome
Beard of Biblical Proportions
Only a man with such epic beardage could translate the entire Bible into Latin. An apocryphal story has it that the reason for his fiery temper was due to the constant interruptions of his translating by angels who wished to marvel at his whiskers.

6. St. Philip Neri
His halo looks good with the beard.
St. Philip Neri was the founder of the Congregation of the Oratory (the Oratorians). He had a great sense of humor and a fervent love for Christ. Blessed John Henry Newman was a member of the Oratory. Sadly, he also did not have a beard, but one of his spiritual brothers and a member of the Pittsburgh Oratory, Fr. David Abernethy, has a beard worthy of St. Philip.

5. St. Pius V
Dominican Beard
St. Pius V was the first Dominican Pope and was a great reformer (a true reformer, not like those other guys), who implemented the decrees of the Council of Trent. He excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I for her heresies and helped ward off the Muslim invasion at Lepanto by imploring the intercession of Our Lady.

4. St. Patrick
The beard that struck fear in reptiles everywhere!
St. Patrick was the great evangelist to the Irish people. Yes, I know he wasn't Irish, but he loved Ireland and her people. Yes, I know he was not the first to bring Christianity to the island. But his beard had a much greater effect on those pagan chiefs than those who came before him!

3. St. Paul
Apostolic Beard
Ephesians 6:17 says it all: "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Likewise, grow out the beard of truth."

2. St. Peter   
Papal Beard
Just look at that beard! You'd give him the keys to your kingdom, too.

1. Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior

Is there a devotion to the Sacred Beard?
Growing a beard is the perfect imitation of Christ.

Update: 7 More Reasons Why Catholic Men Should Have Beards.