Vatican City, May 18, 2016 / 11:16 am
While Pope Francis might have chastised animal-lovers who treat their pets better than people in last week's general audience, that didn't stop him from giving a good pat on the head to Magnum – the Saint Bernard with VIP access to today's audience.
Magnum is quite literally a "Great Saint Bernard." Bred by an order of priests known as Augustinian Canons, he was born on the Great Saint Bernard Pass, one of the highest passes in the Alps connecting Switzerland and Italy.
He is also a descendant of Barry, one of the most famous St. Bernard rescue dogs known to history.
Long before Beethoven drooled his way onto the big screen, Saint Bernard dogs had been made famous by the Augustinians for a more noble cause: saving lives.