Begins Monday, June 16
The day after the Sunday of All Saints
Ends Saturday, June 28
On the Eve of the Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul[/su_pullquote]
Although only a voluntary fast for the faithful today, the Apostles’ Fast is the most ancient fast of the Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Lord Jesus Himself referred to it by saying: “But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and they will fast” (Mt 9:15).
Our holy fathers, the Apostles, started their service and apostolic ministry by fasting. The Lord also started his service and three-year ministry by fasting forty days in the wilderness after His Baptism by John in the Jordan.
The Apostles’ Fast, then, is specifically dedicated for the intention of service, ministry and the Church.
According to the Acts of the Apostles, it is said that the Apostle Peter fasted: “… then he became very hungry and wanted to eat” (Acts 10:10). It was during his fast, in the state of hunger, that St. Peter experienced the heavens open and the vision about the acceptance of Gentiles into the Church.
In addition to visions, the fasting of the Apostles was also associated with missionary work and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of Apostles we read: “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said ‘Now separate for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. Then, having fasted and prayed and laid hands on them, they sent them away. So being sent out by the Holy Spirit, then went down to Seleucia…” (Acts 13:2-4).
From the example of the Apostles, we see that fasting never stands on its own alone, but is always associated with prayer, service, mission, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit works during the times of our fasting . . . Vocations and divine callings come during fasting . . . Holy inspirations and direction come during fasting . . . Ordination of deacon and priests occurs only after times of fasting. Ministry and mission within the Church starts with fasting…
The Apostles’ Fast is a gift intended for service, mission, ministry and the needs of the Church. We fast during this time in preparation for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul (and all the Apostles) so that God may inspire and empower all ministry and service within the Church!