Cappuccino is a well-known drink that many enjoy for breakfast. But did you know that this delicious mixture of coffee and milk has a special bond with a famous blessed?
French journalist Solène Tadié wrote an article for the National Catholic Register about the particular origin of this drink and its connection with the Capuchin friar Blessed Marco d’Aviano.
Marco d’Aviano, Public Domain
Carlo Domenico Cristofori was born on Nov. 17, 1631, in Aviano, Venice. He entered the novitiate in 1648 and professed his vows one year later, taking the name Marco. The friar helped Pope Innocent XI in the fight against the Ottoman Empire.
Origin of the Cappuccino
Taidé noted that while Marco d’Aviano’s life of holiness continues to inspire many conversions, few know that the friar also helped create the famous cappuccino.
“The exact origin of the cappuccino, closely linked to the Battle of Vienna, is still the subject of debate. The most widespread theory is that after the capture of the Turkish camp at the end of the battle, the imperial soldiers found hundreds of bags of coffee, along with numerous other treasures left behind by the defeated army,” he noted.
“The bitterness of this product, quite unknown in the West at the time, had a repellent effect on the soldiers, so Blessed Marco advised them to mix the drink with a little milk to sweeten it,” he added.
The delicious drink was named kapuziner (cappuccino) for its similarity to the color of the friars’ habit.
A Different Version
Taidé added that in the book, Memorie di terra e d’acqua: Note di storia e cultura del Veneto dalle origini alla caduta di Venezia (2014), Ugo Spezia pointed to a slightly different version of the story.
“According to him, some Greek and Serbian merchants, who were already well-acquainted with this drink, seized the abandoned coffee bags after the battle and opened the first coffee shops in Vienna. On this occasion, they created a new hot drink made from milk and coffee to make it more suitable for the Western palate. The name of the mixture was a tribute to Blessed Marco, the most popular character in Vienna after the liberation of the region,” he indicated.
Marco d’Aviano died of cancer on Aug. 13, 1699, and was buried in the Kapuzinerkirche (the Capuchin church in Vienna). Saint John Paul II beatified the friar in 2003.
Now you can more thoroughly enjoy your cappuccino!