Live the Fast, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides nutritious breads and educational materials to encourage prayer and fasting, has announced that it will lead a prayer and fasting novena for Pope Francis’s upcoming visit to the USA next month. Fast4Francis is an opportunity for participants to embrace the Pope’s visit as an invitation to a deeper faith life and to pray for his safe travel leading up to and throughout his visit to the USA.
Darcie Nielsen, Assistant Director of Live the Fast, says “Prayers (novenas) and fasting together are powerful tools used in preparation for important events. This is a proactive effort to stimulate a fervent environment of prayer and faith for our Holy Father’s visit.”
The Fast4Francis novena will take place September 18-26, the nine days leading up to the pope’s arrival in Philadelphia. Anyone from any faith may take part in the nine day fast. There are various tracks of fasting that participants can take part in. All tracks of fasting involve giving up certain foods, praying the prayers of the novena and taking part in a sacrament (like Holy Mass or Reconciliation). For example, Track 1 involves giving up coffee, Track 2, fasting from snacks and dessert, Track 3 involves skipping one meal, Tracks 4 and 5 bread and water fasts. Since prayer, fasting and almsgiving are inseparable, participants are invited to choose one of the Works of Mercy as well. Participants may also begin in one track and move to another or combine tracks during the nine day novena. For those who cannot fast, spending more time in prayer and/or going to adoration for the nine days is an ideal alternative. As well, fasting can also entail giving up social media or television.
Pope Francis has said, “Fasting makes sense if it really chips away at our security and, as a consequence, benefits someone else, if it helps us cultivate the style of the good Samaritan, who bent down to his brother in need and took care of him.”
In May 2013, Pope Francis consecrated the Vatican City State to St. Michael the Archangel “to defend us from the evil one.” So taking the Holy Father’s lead, this novena also calls upon the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel.
To sign up for Fast4Francis reminder emails and for more information, resources and prayers, check out the event’s website at www.fast4francis.org. Here you can read the prayers for the novena and learn about the different kinds of fasts.
For those interested in bread and water fasts (for Fast4Francis and for fasting throughout the year), fasting breads provided by Live the Fast are made with unbleached and untreated flour, with no additives and preservatives and with a variety of flavorful, nourishing ingredients that will help one maintain and finish a bread and water fast. Fasting kits also include prayer and fasting guides to aid a healthy fast.
NOTE: Live the Fast strongly urges you to consult your physician before beginning the practice of fasting.
Image and press release material provided by Live the Fast. All rights reserved.