1917 Fast Observance Today*: Fasting, maximum food intake is one meal, along with two small meal (that together don’t equate to another full meal). No snacking in between and no alcohol consumption today. No high-caloric “drinks” like milkshakes, smoothies, etc.
*Applicable to healthy adults between ages of 21-60 (some exemptions exist – see 1917 Fast: The Specifics)
1917 Abstinence Observance Today**: Partial abstinence, meaning that meat can be eaten only at the principal meal on these days
**Applicable to all age 7 and over.
Potential Prayer(s): The Liturgy of the Hours and the Sorrowful Mysteries Rosary
Potential Fast Intention: To follow in the footsteps of St. Vincent Ferrer and pray for healing the Great Schism, and in reunifying the two great lungs of the Church, the East (Orthodox) and the West (Roman Catholic).
Potential Give: Consider helping the Church in some way as it prepares for the ever busy Holy Week!
Fasting Inspiration of the Day: St. Vincent Ferrer (1350–1419), whose feast day is today.
- Vincent helped restore unity to the Church during the Great Western Schism, when three different men claimed to be pope. Vincent supported the wrong man during the Great Western Schism. When he learned his mistake, he told people to support the true pope.
- In order to subdue his passions, he fasted rigorously from his childhood every Wednesday and Friday. He did so for 40 years.
- His gift of miracles, and the sanctity of his penitential life, gave to his words the greatest weight.
- He would help the poor and distribute alms to them.
- Vincent received a vision from St. Dominic and St. Francis, in which they told him to “go through the world and preach Christ.”
- After this vision, he sang mass every morning, preached two or three times every day, spent time hearing confessions, and prepared his sermon for the next day as he traveled from town to town across Europe.
- He never ate meat, fasted every day except Sunday, and slept on hay or small twigs at night.
Comments of the Day: We have entered the home stretch – 10 days until our Lenten fast ends and Easter season begins! Now is a good time to recommit and stay close to the fast, and where possible, go deeper into the spiritual life, through prayer, alms and interior and exterior moritifcations.
St. Vincent powerful oratory is thought to be due in part to his consistent penitential practices. Let us remember the source of his strength as we stay with our Lord another 10 days in the desert!
St. Vincent Ferrer, pray for us!