beard

The hair that grows on a man’s chin and cheek. Among the Jews and other Orientals the beard was cherished as a symbol of virility. It has been customary from early days for the clergy of the Latin Church to cut off or shave their beards. In the 16th and 17th centuries the contrary practise prevailed, and beards are now worn by the priests of the Eastern churches, both Uniat and Schismatic, by foreign missionaries, by certain religious like the Capuchins, and by individual priests for reasons of health.