Many are familiar with the iconic drink, the cappuccino, which consists of coffee and frothed milk. However, few are aware of the drink’s Catholic origin attributed to Blessed Marco d’Aviano, a Capuchin friar from Venice.
The Capuchin Friar
Blessed d’Aviano, born Carlo Domenico Cristofori, was a highly respected friar of the 17th Century. His admirable life was full of zealous pastoral work, heroic acts of virtue, and absolute fidelity to the Holy Catholic Church. However, the leadership role of this intrepid soul was forever etched into history during the Siege of Vienna.
The Catholic Victory
In 1683, the Turkish army advanced with great strides in Europe, brutally pillaging and conquering new territories. To halt this onslaught, Pope Innocent XI appointed Marco d’Aviano as Apostolic Nuncio and Papal Legate of Vienna, with the mission of uniting the Holy League, formed by Christians of Austria, Poland, Venice, and the Papal States.
When the Blessed monk first arrived, he was faced with the challenge of restoring the wavering morale of the Christian soldiers, who had already suffered immensely from Turkish aggression. Through his fiery preaching, he was able to spark a flame in the hearts of these men and managed to unite the Holy League, thus giving the Christian forces a fighting chance. This unity gave the Catholics the strength needed to stop the Turks at the Siege of Vienna and eventually force them out of Europe, thus ending the Turkish terror. The Capuchin friar put faith into action. God’s intervention, along with Blessed Marcos’ prayers and pastoral work, was the driving force of this victory.
The First Cappuccino
After the Christians expelled the Turks from the gates of Vienna, numerous treasures were discovered left by the enemy, including hundreds of bags filled with coffee beans. At first, the brew was disliked because of its overpowering bitter taste. But Blessed d’Aviano perfected the rough beverage by adding milk as a sweetener. This new drink spread like wildfire throughout Europe. In the monk’s honor, the drink was named “kapuziner,” or “Capuchin,” because it was the name of the religious order to which Blessed Marco belonged, along with the fact that the drink matches the color of the traditional habit worn by the order.
Good Coffee: A Product of Christian Civilization
Many hidden gems inspired by Christian Civilization, like the cappuccino, still exist in our neo-pagan world. Marvels are created in every field of life, including something as simple as a good cup of coffee, when souls seek perfection and are open to the grace of God.
For 338 years, people have enjoyed the cappuccino. Even in our godless culture, Starbucks makes a fortune selling a product invented by a saintly warrior monk who fought off the Islamic invasion of Austria. It makes you wonder: If society once again embraced Christian order, how many more things would God not inspire man to create that give us a taste of heaven here on earth?
Remember: On September 11, 1683, Islam was defeated at the gates of Vienna by a saintly monk and the relief force lead by King John Sobieski and his heroic and faithful Winged Hussars.