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St. Patrick’s Day

Leprechauns, parades, the color green and a bunch of Irish car bombs do more than just describe a good time. It describes the holiday Saint Patrick’s day. A day (March 17th) used to celebrate the patron Saint Patrick. A holiday celebrated since the 17th century. But who is Saint Patrick, and why on this day do we celebrate his accomplishments.

Patrick was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. What is known about Saint Patrick comes from the “Declaration” (which was allegedly written by Patrick himself). It is believed that he was born in the fourth century, into a wealthy family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest.

According to the. “Declaration”, at the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. It is said that he spent six years there working as a shepherd. It was during this time where he “found God”. The Declaration said that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting to take him home. After making his way home, Patrick went on to become a priest. Patrick later returned to Ireland to convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. The Declaration says that he spent many years evangelizing in the northern half of Ireland and converted “thousands” to Christianity. Tradition holds that he died on 17 March and was buried at Downpatrick. Over the following centuries, many legends grew up around Patrick and he became Ireland’s foremost saint.

Saint Patrick’s feast day, as a kind of national day, was already being celebrated by the Irish in Europe during the ninth and tenth centuries. In later times, he (Saint Patrick) became more and more widely seen as the patron of Ireland. Saint Patrick’s feast day was finally placed on the universal liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church in the early 1600s. Saint Patrick’s Day thus became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. It is also a feast day in the Church of Ireland.

In 1903, St Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland. This was thanks to the Bank Holiday Act 1903, an act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by Irish Member of Parliament James O’Mara. The first St Patrick’s Festival was held on 17 March 1996. In 1997, it became a three-day event, and by 2000 it was a four-day event. By 2006, the festival was five days long; more than 675,000 people attended the 2009 parade. Overall 2009’s five-day festival saw almost 1 million visitors, who took part in festivities that included concerts, outdoor theatre performances, and fireworks.

St Patrick’s Day, while not a legal holiday in the United States, is nonetheless widely recognized and observed throughout the country as a celebration of Irish and Irish-American culture. Celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, religious observances, numerous parades, and copious consumption of alcohol. The holiday has been celebrated in North America since the late 18th century.

All around the world on March 17th people are dressing up in green (or being pinched for not doing so) and celebrating the man that brought Christianity to an otherwise pagan nation. Long lines of people wearing green top hats walking in the street followed by parade floats and Irish style entertainment fill downtown areas around the country. So, from everyone here at bv305; let us all be safe and celebrate the Irish within us all.

Written by : Vic Fonseca

IG- @everyone.hates.victorfonseca

Edited: Javi Vasallo

IG- @pride55

Honor The Fallen

Death is ever present, it is undeniable and in the end it is inevitable. Recently, the Bearded Villains brotherhood experienced such loss in different chapters. Mike from the Louisiana chapter as well as Dominik from the polish chapter. Although their causes of death are different it’s the legacy they leave behind that will last forever.

When someone close to us dies, we typically experience every emotion we can feel, anger, sadness, emptiness, joy in past memories, deep questioning, and everything in between. We often harbor on the time we won’t get to share anymore, the memories we won’t get to make, all the moments we could’ve had but didn’t for whatever reason and now will never get the opportunity.

The thing about losing a loved one is, there is no wrong in the way you feel, so often we force ourselves into a disconnect with our emotions out of obligation. To appear strong, this is not strength, true strength is showing the emotion you feel at the times you feel it. The benefit of the Bearded Villains brotherhood is the massive support system all around the world to help you on your journey of mourning and coping.

When we lose someone close and we have begun our journey of connecting our feelings we get a tremendous opportunity. An opportunity to honor the fallen by exuding the love we have/had for them outwardly, to extend what we feel unto others. You see, the person is not lost, they are only gone physically and what we do in the now to prolong their legacy is how they live on.

Honor the fallen, speak about them often, allow your words and love to make them ever present. Death is permanent for our bodies but the soul is carried through our love and our words and is strengthened through both. Remember them, through our actions, allow them to become the best part of ourselves. The Bearded Villains Miami Chapter leaves you with this challenge, to share your love of the lost as often as their memories come to you, speak on what they meant to you, and share with all the part of them that still holds fast within you.

Written by: John Banks

IG @bearded_superman

Awareness

To be good is to practice a preferred social conduct which is considered to be beneficial to society as a whole. Think about what that is for a moment. It is a very broad word, that may even be translated different to the individual. However, it is a word that’s understood by all, and one that is practiced regularly. To do good is something that comforts and warms the soul. You feel a sense of fulfillment at doing good; a sense of accomplishment when you do something beneficial for yourself; something that is good. To be good is easy, and something within us all. So why is there bad in the world? Why do people act in a way that is so contradictory to their nature as human?

February 14, 2018 was a sad day in South Florida, and for BV305. News was plastered on every social media platform, every local television, and radio station, spreading word of another sad event that took place. An event that subsequently ended the lives of 17 individuals, varying from ages 14 to 49; that included students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland. A 19-year-old boy, decided to walk into this school, and let bullets fly, with a single malicious purpose. But why?

Something that is shared in the Bearded Villains brotherhood, is their desire to do good, to teach other that there is hope, that regardless of what may be going on in your life, there is always a brighter day ahead. There is always an opportunity, for you to decide on good, and find a way to dissolve the darkness in ones life. The Miami chapter has worked relentlessly to raise awareness in its community, in charitable deeds, but most importantly, to show what these deeds do for a person emotionally.

It can be speculated, that most persons who are involved in such wrongdoings have a motive backed by some emotional turmoil; possibly due to the actions of another. When it is so simple to show compassion, and do good, why would one ever feel the need to push someone to such an extreme breaking point? BV305 is looking to continue to raise awareness, and push others to do better for their community, and the younger generation. The group has worked relentlessly to show the bigger picture, which is not to move laws into action, and give the country more restriction, but to teach others the benefit of a good deed. To save a life is not simply to remove someone physically from a harmful situation, but to show them compassion in a time where they feel that one does not exist. To save a soul by a kind act, is perhaps more impactful than further government-based action.

The Bearded Villains Miami chapter would like to extend their deepest condolences to the friends and family who suffered in this tragedy. They hope that the message stems forth to touch the lives of those who need it, and hope their footsteps are followed throughout. So, be kind, be generous, be compassionate, and you will see the world changed.

Written by: Javi Vasallo

IG: @pride55

BV305 Wellness

The journey to find balance between ones mind, body, and soul can be a treacherous one, filled with distractions to keep someone from their path of reaching their desired goals. As the world seems to fall deeper into chaos the BV305 have taken action and spearheaded a movement that can be achieved no matter your position in life. Wellness and the pursuit of growing as an individual, is something often talked about by many of us; yet when it comes time to take action, we fall into the traps or distractions that lead us to stray from those goals. As human beings, everyone has succumbed to this but, internally everyone wants to change for the better. With 2018 bringing in fresh faces, fresh ideas, and renewed passion for life, the Bearded Villains Miami chapter decided to make a change and they would start by looking internally.

As brothers, the Miami chapter often pushes each other to be better and to do better, so they began finding ways to step it up. Challenging each other to lifting challenges, weight loss challenges, even inter club foot races. As the challenges went around, more brothers got involved and the group grew closer through merits of strength and hard work in the gym. Through this, the #bv305wellness project began.

The unification of body and mind has become a priority for the Miami chapter as it creates focus within the group to accomplish all tasks in front of them. It is widely known that fitness often coincides with good mental health. The wellness movement is in place to show people that many brothers in the Miami chapter are working hard in the gym, that there are brothers looking to take their life back from the pitfalls of being sedentary and overweight. Studies show that obesity can lead to depression or varied mental health disorders. With all the trials and tribulations life throws at people on a daily basis the idea of pursuing wellness together as a group was something that the men of BV305 are adamant about.

While the act of charity is paramount amongst the Bearded Villains Miami chapter, wellness has etched itself on the tablet of priorities moving forward to show everyone out there; brothers and sisters alike that they are not alone. That the blood, sweat, and tears shed in the weight room, on the court, in the yoga studio, or wherever you pursue your wellness, that you have support from the BV305 brotherhood. One day at a time, one rep at a time, the time for self improvement is always right now. The Miami chapter wants you to get out there, get active, get the body you always wanted, run the marathon you said you couldn’t, hike the path you’ve been putting off because the weather hasn’t been perfect but more importantly get the mindset of making your physical and mental wellness a priority. It’s time to change one day, to day one.

Written by: John Banks

IG: @bearded_superman

Edited By: Javi Vasallo

IG: @pride55

Next Generation

Running, jumping, playing and laughing; just another day with the kids. As parents, we make every moment for them count. Not only for their entertainment and our personal memories, but to instill ideas, and teach lessons. We may not be educators, in the sense of scholastic teachings, but everything we do and say to a child is something they mimic. They learn from us; how to speak, not simply words, but the manner in which they communicate and interact. The way they choose their goals, regardless of how minuscule it is in their little worlds. As individuals, we each have our way of being, how we approach situations and socialize; how we treat others, and what we deem important. However, the essence of how we do it, we pick up as children, from what we saw growing up. This is what makes our actions within their line of sight so important.

No child is born with malicious intent, or a desire for good, they simply are, and they learn from what is around them. They act and treat others as they see those in their lives treat and act towards others. So, it is important to show them; not just the benefits of hard work, but also a sense of worth and appreciation when good deeds are performed.

Naturally, we live our lives to satisfy ourselves, to feel accomplished, to find answers, to explore, or live happy. Some live for a greater purpose, to believe in what we they decide to and give their lives to it. The one thing all people can agree on, is the importance of the next generation; the next group of people whose lives will somehow mold the world from where we left it and add progress to it. Through technology, scientific advancements, perhaps medical changes, but why not also through charity.

BV305 has been dedicated to the betterment of Miami since the chapter came together in 2015. We relish in the time we spend pouring ourselves into the projects we undertake, in the responses from those effected and the emotional onslaught we feel at having touched the lives we have. Greater though, are the lessons we teach the kids who work with us, or benefit from what we do. It teaches them to love and do; for more than themselves. It teaches them the importance of working hard and

gives them an opportunity to grow a humanitarian side to themselves.

The only certainty to life, is its end; but what of those we leave behind? It Is our responsibility to instill and inspire, to let the creative mind flourish, and be an asset to the community, and world we are a part of. The goal for any parent is to leave a legacy, someone to carry on their name and make it bigger and better known. Our legacy is that of our children, and those we touch daily. We constantly speak of our contributions to inspire others to follow suit, and hope that in turn, the younger lives take in the message as well. Our futures are in their hands after all….

Written By: Javi Vasallo

IG: @pride55

History of Valentines

It’s February, and love is in the air. Promises of chocolates, flowers, and sweet gestures linger in the air. Valentine’s day, has been a day for couples to spoil each other in the name of Saint Valentine. They woo each other with gifts and love. But who is Saint Valentine? And why, on this day, do we decide to celebrate in his name? The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine (or Valentinus), all of whom were martyred.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II had deduced that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families. So he outlawed marriage for young men in the military. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they may have been beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl (possibly his jailor’s daughter) who visited him during his confinement. Prior to his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed, “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still used today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is muddled, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly a romantic figure. By the middle ages, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

It was believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance. Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400.

Today, February 14th is celebrated as a national day of love. Whether you’ve been with someone for a week, a month, a year, or a decade; Valentine’s Day is celebrated with presents and grand gestures of love. Happy Valentine’s day, or day of love; with love from Bv305.

Written By: Victor Fonseca

IG: @eveyone.hates.victorfonseca

MLK Beautification 2018

The neighborhood of Brownsville in Miami is home to a lot of culture bolstering all types of ethnicities that come together to create their small community. Brownsville has its share of ups and downs as a neighborhood, once a thriving community for black professionals only to ultimately be ravaged by poverty and economic decline. Within the community, there is still hope for a brighter future and it has invested itself in, ensuring that the youth of tomorrow is not denied the education they deserve.

Brownsville Middle School, the segway from happy go lucky child, to moody pre teen, where molding kids in attendance is most important, as they transition into young teens. Each year Brownsville Middle has the local and surrounding communities come together to donate their time and man power to give the school a facelift. For the past three years, the BV305 has answered the call.

Year number three of service to the beautification program started as most events; with the beards from Miami arriving first, even before the staff, anxious and ready to put their passion for putting a change to work. The first year the Miami chapter attended they brought roughly 12 members, the second year slightly more, and this year the number swelling to an incredible 25 man roster. As the work began, the BV305 broke up into three teams to maximize their effectiveness in making this a great and special day for all attending Brownsville Middles beautification and clean up, whether it be those volunteering, the staff, or the students of tomorrow. The Miami chapter has always been an “action over words” type of chapter, and in doing so, have grown into leaders not only amongst the Bearded Villains brotherhood but in the community as a whole. More and more people step up to support the chapter through service at their side or donations, and the future cannot be foreseen but it can be molded for the better with the good deeds we do now. So the Bearded Villains Miami Chapter will continue to participate in this amazing project for years to come ensuring that our heroes of tomorrow will continue to be inspired by the Villains of today.

Written by: John Banks @Bearded_superman

Edited by: Javier Vasallo IG: @pride55

Closing 2017

December is the most sought-after month of the year, the one we all look most forward to. It represents cold weather and snow, the arrival of Old Saint Nick, gifts galore, plentiful food and the closing of another year. The count down to the New Year quite possibly the most awaited 10 seconds of the year and likely, the longest 10 seconds for most, as it is the time where the past years most memorable moments are reflected upon. As a society, we have been conditioned to believe in its significance, as a chance to start a new. The reality is, the 60 seconds between 11:59PM and 12:00AM, doesn’t affect anything, cosmically speaking, however it has become very significant to the individual. The time they choose to reflect on what they have accomplished, to contemplate how they will excelfurther than they did the prior year.

In lieu of the New Year, we’ve decided to change the way this blog will be written, as we, along with the rest of the world, have memories of 2017, and feel it best to share with a more personal perspective.

This year marks the 3rd “calendar year, since our chapter first waved the BV flag as an official chapter of the brotherhood. Like anything else, it was a journey filled with twists and turns, but through the determination of our leadership, and our motivated brothers, we have molded ourselves to become a true power within our bearded community, as well as our city. We’ve touched many lives, fulfilled dreams, and ultimately built a legacy that is unrivaled. The fondest memory is our biggest event to date, which of course, is the 2017 Bearded Villains World Meet. This is the time that solidified everything we thought this brotherhood was. It showed us the strength in our chapter, and pushed our determination to the breaking point. The success was unlike anything we had dreamed for it, and the relief afterwards was unimaginable for us all.

We are often questioned why we decide to contribute to the causes we have in the past, in other words, “why this one?’. This should be a perfect example.

The world is full of disasters and tragedy, often times something terrible happens, and people will speak on what should have been done, or what could have been done, in hindsight. This year alone, many of our brother chapters were impacted by the hurricane swarm of 2017, including Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico chapters. The Florida Keys, a home away from home for many in our brotherhood, was devastated by Hurricane Irma. Our Captain often makes it a point to take care of home first, and this was exactly the type of situation we take by the balls. It was imperative that we go there to offer aid to the people of the Keys, so they could feel some type of relief after the tragedy they had suffered. Fortunately, we managed to put together a truck full of supplies that was made possible by our friends, family and supporters who felt connected to what we were trying to accomplish. Brothers and friends of the brotherhood aligned themselves with the Boys and Girls club to make a difference, and that was exactly what they did. This wasn’t just a “here’s a donation and a few pics for Instagram” type of situation,this was man power, this was blood, sweat, and tears. This was our attempt at being the beacon of hope that the people of the Keys never saw coming. The progression of emotions from the people who we directly impacted from an uneasy “who the hell are these guys” to teary eyed thank yous, complete with handshakes and heart felt hugs. We often do charity as many of our brothers do, and like them, we choose to do something that makes us unique in the way we choose them, and that’s in the emotional connection we often have with the cause we choose to be involved with.

Its beyond heartwarming to feel the gratitude of others. Not because of the praise that follows, but in the sincerity in a person tone, or expression. To see the weight, almost tangibly lifted off their shoulder, makes us feel like super heroes. We are just as grateful to them, as they are to us, in providing that solace to our own hearts. Which is why we continue to do what we do, especially now, during christmas time.

We understand, being a child on Christmas is a great thing. The holiday is filled with promises of presents, candy, and joyfulwonderment, and what quite possibly be the best part of all, a two-week vacation from school. At a young age, this is the time where our wildest dreams to come true. Where, asking for things isn’t unacceptable, on the contrary, it’s requested. A time where all the dishes you washed, all the trash you took out, all the times you’ve cleaned your room, pays off. It’s Christmas, and all bets are off.

But………what if you’re not one of those kids? A little over six percent of kids are in foster care. Twenty one percent living in what are considered poor homes. Four in ten kids are living on a back and forth see-saw, flirting with the poverty line. For these kids, Christmas is different. Christmas still shares the same wonder. The same excitement. But the expectations are different. For these kids, there’s not much allure of presents, no grand assumption that Santa would bring them anything. Christmas, although special… is just another day.

One of our proudest annual events is that of Amigos for Kids, whogave us an opportunity to change that for some children. This is the third year we’ve worked side by side with them, and this event never ceases to pull on the heart strings and warm the soul. Not just because of their mission, and how positively they impact these less fortunate kids, but also by the alarming amount of people that are also helping out. It might just seem like toys to some people. It might seem like just another toy drive. But those kids receiving these gifts… it’s more. It’s a promise that tomorrow might be better. That, maybe they aren’t alone, and that someone does have their back. It’s hope. That’s what Christmas and charity is all about right?

We have made it our goal to impact our city as often, and in as many ways as possible. We are constantly on the lookout for a life to change, one to save, or simply the next face to make smile. As 2017 comes to a close, we look forward to what 2018 will bring, and more importantly, what we will bring to others, in our continuingjourney to the betterment of our society.

Written by: Javier Vasallo IG: @pride55

John Banks IG: @bearded_superman

Victor Fonseca IG: @flying.graysons

Edited By: Javier Vasallo

Merry Christmas

Christmas. The very word brings images of men in red suits, festive decorations, and presents to mind. Christmas alone brings warmth, joy and cheer to millions of people throughout the world. But, as revered as the holiday is, how many people know of its origin. Aside from the birth of Jesus, how much do we really know about Christmas, and it’s story?

Long before the arrival of Jesus, Europeans had celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. People rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them. Finally they could look forward to longer days and a warmer sun. Late December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe. During that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered to lower feasting feeding costs throughout the winter. For most farmers, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat. Not only that, but most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.

The first recorded date of Christmas was celebrated on December 25th, was in 336 AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that, the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th of December. However, there are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. A very early Christian tradition said that, the day when Mary was told she would have a very special baby, Jesus, was on March 25th – and it’s still celebrated today on the 25th of March. Nine months after the 25th of March is the 25th of December! March 25th was also the day some early Christians thought the world had been made, and also the day that Jesus died, when he was an adult.

The date of March 25th was chosen because people had calculated that it was the day on which Jesus died as an adult and they thought that Jesus was born and also died on the same day of the year. There’s a strong and practical reason why Jesus might not have been born in the winter, but in the spring or the autumn! It can get very cold in the winter and it’s unlikely that the shepherds would have been keeping sheep out on the hills.

While some people also think that December 25th might have been chosen because the Winter Solstice and the ancient pagan Roman midwinter festivals, called ‘Saturnalia’ and ‘Dies Natalis Solis Invicti’ took place in December around this date – so it was a time when people already celebrated things. The Winter Solstice is the day where there is the shortest time between the sun rising and the sun setting. It happens on December 21st or 22nd. To pagans this meant that the winter was over and spring was coming and they had a festival to celebrate it and worshipped the sun for winning over the darkness of winter.

Aside from the birth of Jesus, Christmas has been known to spark up other folk stories. Other tales of a fat rose colored cheek man dressed in all white. A man known as “Santa Claus”. St. Nicholas was a Bishop who lived in the fourth century in a place called Myra in Asia Minor (now called Turkey). He was a very rich man because his parents died when he was young and left him a lot of money. He was also a very kind man and had a reputation for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed it. One of the most famous, and most original stories of how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus goes as follows: There was a poor man who had three daughters. The man was so poor that he did not have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters couldn’t get married. One night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house (This meant that the oldest daughter was then able to be married.). The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry! This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to discover the person who had given him the money, the father secretly hid by the fire every evening until he caught Nicholas dropping in a bag of gold. Nicholas begged the man to not tell anyone what he had done, because he did not want to bring attention to himself. But soon the news got out and when anyone received a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas. Stories spread and eventually evolved to the ones we know now. The one where he sees you when you’re sleeping. And knows when you’re awake. The one where he knows if you’ve been bad or good. So it’s best to be good, for goodness sake.

Christmas is a celebration that has lived on for centuries. It encompasses all of what is meant to be good in the world. Happiness, joy, cheer, charity. It’s been a symbol of hope and of love. A day where we stop thinking about ourselves, and think about the people we care about. A time where we can fill a child’s eyes with happiness and wonder. A day where we as people can truly take in and experience the magic that this wonder filled holiday has to offer. From everyone at the 305. Merry Christmas. And a happy new year.

Written by: Vick Fonseca IG: Flying.graysons

Edited by: Javier Vasallo IG: @Pride55

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