Friday, January 13, 2012

Why do French say ... "l’habit ne fait pas le moine" ?

Well-known proverb, "clothes do not make the man"  invites never to trust appearances. The term was coined in XIIIe century, but two hypotheses compete on its origin. The first relates to a historical event, when on January 8, 1297 Francois Grimaldi decided to conquire Monaco. The ancestor of the current House of Grimaldi, the family of the current Monte Carlo Principality, had his men disguised as Franciscan monk to trick the guards. An event still engraved in the Grimaldi coat of arms, symbolizing monks holding a sword. A second hypothesis refers in turn to Pope Gregory IX (1145-1241) as saying: "It is not by the dress that you recognizes the monk, but by the observance of the rule and the perfection of his life". 

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