Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Blessing of Orthodox Fasting on Wednesday and Friday

Icon depicting our Guardian Angel (source)
Monk Galaktion Illie, a cenobitic monk from the Monastery of Sichastria, Romania since 1918, kept fasting with exactness. If he hadn't kept his monastic canon, he would eat nothing.

On Wednesday and Friday, he fasted until evening when the stars came out. Then, he did his cross, asked forgiveness from everyone, took some antidoron, and then had something to eat.

"Elder," his disciple once asked him, "the day is long and you are old and weak. Isn't it better to eat your food earlier?"

He answered: "Once, a Saint saw some people taking a dead man to the tomb. Before and behind him were two beautiful angels. 'Who are you?' the Saint asked. 'I am named Wednesday, and I am Friday!' the angels replied. 'We came here at the commandment of the Lord to help this soul, because throughout his life, he fasted on Wednesday and Friday, in order to imitate the Passion of the Lord.' Since then, I have never eaten on those days, that Wednesday and Friday might help me at the hour of my death."
(amateur translation of text from the book "Appearances and Miracles of the Angels", published by the Holy Paracletos Monastery, Oropos, Attica, 2007, source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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