I mentioned how during the searingly liminal period immediately before coming here to Italy I had made a serious effort to grow such a beard. I had done everything right. I was patient, I didn't give into the temptation to trim, etc. But it just wasn't there. Ashamed as I am to admit it, I even considered giving in to the syncretism of our age by praying to Fortuna Barbata, a supernatural possibility for this purpose I had learned from St. Augustine in City of God IV:11.
After recounting my efforts so diligent, though ultimately unsuccessful, one of the friars quizzed me:
"But did you sing the song?"
"You don't know the song? Venerabilis barba capucinorum? [sic]
"Vener-abilis bar-ba Capu-ccin-orum?" I repeated back, trying to make sure I had got it.
That's why it hadn't worked, my confrere assured me, because I hadn't sung the song. But how is it that I'm only hearing about this now?