• Brother Juniper
  • Brother Juniper at Work and Play
  • Brother Juniper Strikes Again
  • Inside Brother Juniper
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  • Well Done, Brother Juniper
  • The Whimsical World of Brother Juniper
  • The Ecumenical Brother Juniper

The Real Brother Juniper

Bartolome Esteban Murillo - Brother Juniper and the BeggarBrother Juniper and the Beggar, (1646) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo,
displayed at Musée du Louvre, Paris France

Saint Juniper (~1210 AD – 1258 AD) was one of the original followers of Saint Francis of Assisi and was received into the order by St. Francis himself. St. Juniper was also known as, “the renowned jester of the Lord.” Of St. Juniper, St. Francis quipped, “Would to God, my brothers, I had a whole forest of such Junipers.”

St. Francis tasked Juniper with expanding the order in Gualdo Tadino and Viterbo, which he did with great success. St. Juniper is buried at Ara Coeli Church in Rome. The day of his feast is January 29th. Several stories of Saint Juniper are recounted in the Little Flowers of St. Francis (1390 AD)

Brother Juniper was known to randomly give away his meager possessions. In one story, his superiors ordered him to stop giving away his clothing. Soon after, Juniper stumbled upon a beggar sorely in need of something to wear. Recalling his orders, Brother Juniper said to the beggar, “my superior has told me, under obedience, not to give my clothing to anyone. BUT if you pull it off my back I certainly will not prevent you.”

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