Why Should I Grow a Beard?

Because you are a man (that is, I assume you are a man. If you are a woman who's asking herself why she should grow a beard, the answer is that you shouldn't. That's just weird.)!

But if being a man isn't enough of a reason to grow a beard, here are 17 more.

17. 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.

16. 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!)

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

14. 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.

13. St. Philip Neri
My beard is full of joy!
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.

12. 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.

11. 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!

10. 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."

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

8. The 12 Apostles

All of the Apostles had beards. What's that you say? Look in the picture, St. John didn't have a beard? Sure, when he was a youth that was the case, but not when he reached manhood. The writer of the Fourth Gospel was just as bearded as the rest of his brother Apostles.

"In the beginning was the beard..."

7. Apostolic Constitutions 1.3:

"Nor may men destroy the hair of their beards, and unnaturally change the form of a man. ...For God the Creator has made this decent for women, but has determined that it is unsuitable for men."

6. St. Augustine, City of God XXII.24:
"Certain things are associated with the body in such a way as to have beauty but no use. For example...the beard on his face. The fact that the beard exists as a manly adornment and not for purposes of protection is shown by the beardless faces of women, who are the weaker sex and for whom a beard would therefore be more suitable if it were a protective device."

Behold the beauty of my beard!

5. Lactantius, On the Workmanship of God, or the Formation of Man, ch. 7:
"Then the nature of the beard contributes in an incredible degree to distinguish the maturity of bodies, or to the distinction of sex, or to the beauty of manliness and strength; so that it appears that the system of the whole work would not have been in agreement, if anything had been made otherwise than it is."
4. St. Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus, Bk 3, ch. 3:
"But for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, to arrange his hair at the looking-glass, to shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them, how womanly! And, in truth, unless you saw them naked, you would suppose them to be women. …For God wished women to be smooth, and rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane; but has adorned man, like the lions, with a beard…"
In the same work, St. Clement goes on to say:

3. St. Dominic 
Bearded St. Dominic was the founder of the greatest (objectively speaking, of course) religious order in the Catholic Church, the Order of Preachers. Now, here I would normally make a Jesuit joke, but out of reverence for our Holy Father, I will refrain.
Seen any Albigensians, lately?

2. Beards are pro-life!

1. Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior

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

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