Lent 2018

Day 7: Tuesday, February 20th (Fasting and Partial Abstinence)

1917 Fast Observance Today*: Fasting, maximum food intake is one meal, along with two snacks (that together don’t equate to a meal).  No snacking in between that and no alcohol consumption today.

*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 Sorrowful Mysteries

Potential Fast Intention(s): For those wounded in the bombing in Syria and for all those trying to help ease that suffering, especially the White Helmets

Potential Give(s): Consider supporting to a Syrian charity in some way.

Fasting Inspiration for the Day:  Saint Genevieve (422-512), patron saint of Paris,  disasters, girls, purity, virgins and chastity.

Saint Genevieve

When she was only 15-years-old, Genevieve met Bishop of Paris and asked to become a nun. From this moment, she also began praying continuously and fasting. She devoted herself to works of charity and practiced severe corporal austerities, abstaining completely from flesh meat and breaking her fast only on Sundays and Thursdays. She drank only water and her meals included small amounts of bread and beans.  These mortifications she continued for over thirty years, till her ecclesiastical superiors thought it their duty to make her diminish her austerities.  Only then did she add milk and fish to her diet.

Her prayer and penance was so great, it is said she saved the city of Paris from an Attila the Hun attack due to her strict observances.

“Shortly before the attack of the Huns under Attila in 451 on Paris, Genevieve persuaded the panic-stricken people of Paris not to leave their homes and to pray…Genèvieve, however, advised them against evacuation. She told them that if they kept their faith in God, fasted, prayed and performed penance, the city would be protected by heaven and their lives would be spared…many of the citizens passed days and nights in prayer with Genèvieve in the baptistery. But when the crisis neared its peak, and Attila seemed to be right outside the city walls, the people became panic-stricken, and they turned against Genèvieve. They accused her of being a false prophet who would bring about their deaths as well as the destruction of their beloved city, and they threatened to stone her… [the next night,] Attila turned away from Paris, leaving the city unharmed, and headed south, to Orleans. Genèvieve was proclaimed a savior and heroine.”

Comments of the Day:  Saint Genevieve has a special place in our family, as our oldest daughter is named for her.

Her life of austerity, mortification and purity show us the miracles such a life can produce.  The power of fasting, along with prayer, is tremendous.  It helps the spirit take hold and lead the body, not the other way around.

My hope is that similar mortification are undertaken by the faithful for the suffering in Syria to miraculously end that bloody conflict.

St. Genevieve, by whose fasts and prayers saved the city of Paris, pray for us and pray for an end to the humanitarian disaster in Syria.

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