Capuchin Dies of Plague in Denver

Word in the Denver Post that a capuchin died in Denver May 15 of the bulbonic plague caused the friars at St. Francis Friary and Fraternidad San Antonio to recall the thousands of Capuchins throughout Europe who distinguished themselves in the 16, 17th 18th and 19th centuries by ministering to plague victims . More than 2,000 are estimated to have served to the point of sacrificing their own lives. Alexander Manzoni (shown above) celebrated the Lombardese friars among them in his classic historical novel "I Promessi Sposi" which was translated into English as "The Betrothed." The lower-case Denver capuchin, thought to have caught the disease by eating an infected squirrel, was a member of the Cebus genus — in other words, a monkey — stationed at the Denver Zoo. For an on-line copy of the Manzoni novel, click here. For more on the stricken capuchin, click here.