It’s that time of year when all Catholics start to think about what they will give up for Lent. Many will choose chocolate or social media or alcohol. For those who really desire to grow in holiness over the forty days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, it is beneficial to look to the saints for inspiration.
Here’s what some of the most beloved saints did during Lent.
St. John Paul II | Gave away something he needed.
“Going without things does not consist only of giving away what we do not need; sometimes it also consists of giving away what we do need, like the widow in the Gospel who knew that what she was giving away was already a gift to her from God.” – St. John Paul II
St. Francis of Assisi | Spent time alone in prayer and contemplation while fasting.
“…St. Francis remained alone; and there being no habitation into which he could retire… and in this shelter he disposed himself to prayer and to the contemplation of heavenly things. And he remained there the whole of Lent, without eating or drinking, except the half of one of those little loaves.” – Fioretti di San Francesco
St. Faustina | Slept without a pillow, remained hungry, and prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for sinners.
“…but I can practice little things: first – sleep without a pillow; keep myself a little hungry; every day, with my arms outstretched, say the chaplet which the Lord taught me; occasionally, with arms outstretched, for an indefinite period of time (284) pray informally. Intention: to 230 beg divine mercy for poor sinners, and for priests, the power to bring sinful hearts to repentance.” – Diary of St. Faustina, 934
St. Augustine | Sought forgiveness from those he had hurt, forgave others, prayed for enemies.
“Therefore, we have Him as witness in our hearts that, if we have sinned against anyone, we are seeking pardon with sincere hearts and that, if anyone has sinned against us, we are prepared to give pardon and that we are praying for our enemies.” – St. Augustine
St. Benedict | Added an extra hour of sacred reading each day and finished an entire book.
“In the days of Lent let them apply themselves to their reading from the morning until the end of the third hour, and from then until the end of the tenth hour let them perform the work that is assigned to them. In these days of Lent let them each receive a book from the library, which they shall read through consecutively; let these books be given out at the beginning of Lent.” – The Rule of St. Benedict
Still trying to decide what will be best for you to do this Lent? uCatholic would like to give you a free “Guide To The Rules For Lent” ebook to help you on your forty-day walk alongside Christ. Use this helpful resource to make the most of your time spent in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
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