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Subject: Inseparable twin friars die hours apart, age 92

Written By: Philip Eno on 06/04/11 at 3:04 am

Identical twin Franciscan friars who rarely left each other's side from their births 92 years ago have died within hours of each other.

Julian and Adrian Riester went to school together, travelled together and joined the Franciscan order together.

The Buffalo-born brothers both died of heart failure, said a fellow friar in Florida, where they had lived since moving from New York state in 2008.

They spent much of their lives at St Bonaventure University in New York.

"It really is almost a poetic ending to the remarkable story of their lives," said St Bonaventure spokesman Tom Missel.

"Stunning when you hear it, but hardly surprising given that they did almost everything together," Mr Missel was quoted as saying by Associated Press (AP).

At St Bonaventure, they worked as carpenters and gardeners, gaining a reputation as handymen who could fix anything.

They lived in separate rooms at the St Bonaventure Friary but had one telephone line that rang into both, a colleague at the friary told AP.

The twins, originally named Jerome and Irving, never said who was born first. Upon joining the Franciscan order in their 20s, they took the names of saints.

"They had this intimate bond, in which neither was selfish at all," their cousin, Michael Riester, told the Buffalo News.

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