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Daily Catholic Question

What's the "40-day fast" of St. Francis?

Both Thomas of Celano and St. Bonaventure mention St. Francis’ fast from the Feast of the Assumption (August 15) to the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel (September 29). They speak of it as a fast of 40 days.

If you count off the days on the calendar, that is a period of more than 40 days&mdashno matter on what day you begin or end the count.

All I can surmise is that the authors (and St. Francis himself) meant the expression “a fast of 40 days” to be taken in the moral sense of about 40 days. The feasts were more important as the starting and ending times than the exact number of days. And I cannot personally believe Francis would have advocated fasting on the feasts themselves.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Friday, November 30, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 11/29/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 12/1/2012


Bridget: From age seven on, Bridget had visions of Christ crucified. Her visions formed the basis for her activity—always with the emphasis on charity rather than spiritual favors. 
<p>She lived her married life in the court of the Swedish king Magnus II. Mother of eight children (the second eldest was St. Catherine of Sweden), she lived the strict life of a penitent after her husband’s death. </p><p>Bridget constantly strove to exert her good influence over Magnus; while never fully reforming, he did give her land and buildings to found a monastery for men and women. This group eventually expanded into an Order known as the Bridgetines (still in existence). </p><p>In 1350, a year of jubilee, Bridget braved a plague-stricken Europe to make a pilgrimage to Rome. Although she never returned to Sweden, her years in Rome were far from happy, being hounded by debts and by opposition to her work against Church abuses. </p><p>A final pilgrimage to the Holy Land, marred by shipwreck and the death of her son, Charles, eventually led to her death in 1373. In 1999, she, Saints Catherine of Siena (April 29) and Teresa Benedicts of the Cross (Edith Stein, August 9) were named co-patronesses of Europe.</p> American Catholic Blog Teaching by example forms a durable base from which to form character. It is the base, but alone it won’t raise the kind of person you want. Being a moral adult is fundamental to teaching children morals. But it is not sufficient, in and of itself.

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