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Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs

Posted By: Pani Rose

Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/07/04 12:00 AM

Oh no! The only reason we have these dogs as we know them is because of the monks...

G R A N D S T. B E R N A R D, Switzerland, Oct. 5, 2004 The highest church in the world sits 8,000 feet up in the Alps on what was once the most dangerous mountain pass in Europe. Today, climbers and hikers come for the challenge, but for hundreds of years, the monastery of the Grand St. Bernard was a lifesaving refuge from the cold and snow for everyone from local hunters to Napoleon.

In the 1600s, the St. Bernard monks decided they needed help rescuing snowbound travelers. So they bred a burly but reliable dog, which they named after their patron saint. ......
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/WNT/US/st_bernard_sciutto_041005-1.html

I'm depressed frown
Posted By: paromer

Re: Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/07/04 02:49 AM

Dear Pani Rose,

Thank You.

Who wouldn't love a St. Bernard? What a sad end for the Swiss monks' St. Bernards. frown

I had problems linking to the story. Maybe my pc is going south. confused


God bless you,

Paul
Posted By: JoeS

Re: Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/07/04 12:51 PM

Maybe the good monks will maintain some sort of kennel of St. Bernards for the tourist and local climbers so future generations will have some idea what the past was like?

JoeS
Posted By: shestelle

Re: Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/07/04 01:27 PM

Thanks for the story, Pani Rise

Perhaps, just maybe a few young men somewhere will receive a vocation to become monks of St. Bernard.

The dogs are a great comfort for people lost in the snows of the high Alps. But, also, so are the monks.

Let's hope for a renewed sense of God and of the Sacred and of Vocation to the Monastic life, also for the salvation of the lost and snow bound!

Shestelle

p.s. a challenge for the "men" out there!
Posted By: Our Lady's slave

Re: Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/07/04 02:04 PM

Oh my - many moons ago I visited this Monastery - the dogs were a wonderful sight - likewise the pups too wink

It would be a shame for this bit of history and tradition to go - search and rescue dogs still have a part to play. Wouldn't it be great if some lay folk could organise a rescue for the breeding programme and training.

Anhelyna who loves big dogs
Posted By: byzanTN

Re: Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/07/04 02:05 PM

I may be wrong about this, but I think the article I read on this said there were only 4 monks left.
Posted By: Pani Rose

Re: Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/07/04 04:04 PM

Anhelyna!!!!! Glad to see you made it back.

Yeah ByzanTN you are right
But today, there are only four monks remaining, and they say they don't have the time or the money to take care of the dogs.

So it is a sad situation all the way around. I take it that men don't want to stay in the snow and harshness that the mountains bring. We use to raise St. Bernards so they have a special place in our hearts too. The head of the one in the picture is absolutely awesome. I knew some breeders that would get pups from there many years ago.

Well at least here in the states, look at the New Skete that is raising and training German Shepards. Our priest says he has been there, and they are wonderful. I guess that is what it must be like for the monks in the alps too.

Most Holy Theotokos bring them an increase of vocations. Keep there line pure that in the future they may return to their beloved dogs. Meet all of their needs in the mighty name of the only Son of the Father and your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Posted By: byzanTN

Re: Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/07/04 07:21 PM

Pani Rose, I have a theory about monastics. You may think I have lost my mind, but here goes. I believe that a major reason there is so much death, disease, hostility to Christianity, and general suffering in the world is because we don't have all those monks and nuns in prayer anymore. My feeling is that the prayers of those holy people have kept evil at bay for some time. Now, with diminshed vocations, we are in trouble. Who is praying for the world today in sufficient numbers and intensity to make a difference?
Posted By: paromer

Re: Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/07/04 09:08 PM

My wife (then fiancee) and I received marriage preparation at a Franciscan retreat house. The friars had a St. Bernard on-site. I believe part of the spiritual therapy was that magnificent dog.

Christ is our peace.

Paul
Posted By: Pani Rose

Re: Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/08/04 02:39 AM

Totally cool Paul!

ByzanTN I think you have a good point there. It is kind of like people responding to nuns not being in habit, or priests in cassocks. If you ask the ordinary person on the street about it, they say there was such security when you saw them. They may not have had any belief as we as Catholics do, but somehow they understood.
Posted By: Dmitri Rostovski

Re: Swiss Monks Are Giving Up Famed St. Bernard Rescue Dogs - 10/08/04 01:27 PM

Slava Isusu Kristu,

Yet another example of the importance of praying for vocations. Especially now as the Metropolia sends around the vocation icons. Obviously, not only the faithful, but animals as well need good and holy monks...

Dmitri
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