Lent 2018

Day 8: Wednesday, February 21st (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.

Today’s Rosary (same throughout Lent): The Sorrowful Mysteries

Potential Fast Intention: The children of Syria, and all those children caught in the midst of strife, war and food insecurity around the globe.

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

Fasting Inspiration for the Day:  Saint Simeon Stylites the Elder (390-459), a “pillar-hermit” who lived atop a 1 square-meter pillar in between Aleppo and Antioch, Syria for ~ 37 years.


  • Before this, he spent 40 days closed in a tiny hut without any food or water. When he walked out it was hailed as a miracle. Pilgrims flocked to see St Simeon and they erected taller pillars for him to stand on – in the end his pillar was 15 meters high.
  • He lived off goat’s milk and flat bread – provided by local children.
  • During his earlier years, upon the column, there was on the summit a stake to which he bound himself in order to maintain the upright position throughout Lent.
  • Patriarch Domninos II (441–448) of Antioch once celebrated Divine Liturgy atop the pillar with St. Simeon.
  • The ruins of the vast edifice erected in his honor, called the Fortress of Simeon, can still be seen. They are located about 30 km northwest of Aleppo, Syria and consist of four basilicas built out from an octagonal court towards the four points of the compass to form a large cross.
  • In the center of the court, stands the base of the style or column on which St. Simeon stood.

Comments of the Day: Let us ask Saint Simeon, a Syrian pillar-hermit who committed himself greatly to prayer, fasting and our Lord during his life, to intercede and pray for the people living in modern-day Syria, us and all those suffering today. May we, along with Saint Simeon, ask God to miraculously end that conflict and protect all those involved, especially the innocent children affected.

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