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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.

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

Fidelis of Sigmaringen: If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life. 
<p>Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a member of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor. </p><p>As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. During a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers. </p><p>He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions. </p><p>He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed. </p><p>He was canonized in 1746. Fifteen years later, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was established in 1622, recognized him as its first martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog Obedience means total surrender and wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor. All the difficulties that come in our work are the result of disobedience.

 
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