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5 Famous male friendships in history


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Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 05/02/21

Great friends are good for us in every way, and these 5 legendary friendships show why.

Did you know that friendship is good for you, on just about every measure? Your physical health, mental health, and even spiritual health benefit from time with great friends.

Sadly, real friendship seems increasingly hard to find. “Social capital,” that is, the network of relationships among people in our society, has drastically decreased in recent decades. 

The reasons for this decline in friendship are vast and varied, and beyond the scope of this article. You might turn to Robert Putnam’s seminal book, Bowling Alone, which examines this crisis in detail. One thing we know for sure is that this decline is hurting us all, individually and collectively.

Looking to the examples of great friendships in history can remind us of why these relationships are so important. Real, deep, intimate friendships are at least partly responsible for countless people’s success and happiness.

Building friendships isn’t only about a healthy and thriving life, either. It also is an essential component of holiness.

We see this truth lived out in the many saints who were friends with each other and in the monastic communities and religious orders that have existed throughout Church history. In these places, men or women join together to help each other toward holiness. 

It was God Himself who cautioned us, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). The need for companionship refers not only to marriage but also to meaningful friendships of all kinds.

These 5 famous pairs of men in history are examples of great and virtuous friendship. They can inspire us all to make time with friends a priority in our own lives, too.

HistoryMen’s LifestyleSaints
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