Bread and Water Fasts with the Catholic Saints

Venerable and God-bearing Father Anthony the Great - Orthodox Church in  America

He ate once daily, after sunset, but there were times when he received food every second and frequently even every fourth day. His food was bread and salt, and for drinking he took only water. There is no reason even to speak of meat and wine, when indeed such a thing was not found among the other zealous men.” –Athanasius: The Life of Antony, p. 36 (251 – 356 A.D.)

“When a youth of twenty, he fled from his home and became a monk near Tours, resisting all the efforts of his family to withdraw him from his mode of life. Following what he regarded as divine inspiration, he betook himself to Bourges, where under the direction of St. Austregisile, the bishop of the city, he remained in solitude for fifteen years, living in a cell and subsisting on bread and water.”  –Catholic Encyclopedia, “St. Amandus” (584 – 675 A.D.)

“Disciples soon gathered round the two hermits, by 989 they were sufficiently numerous to receive a rule from St. Romuald, who was then in that district. This rule seems to have been of great severity. The hermits lived in separate cells and were always occupied with prayer, study, or manual labour. Four days a week they ate nothing but bread and water in strictly limited quantities. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they added a little fruit and vegetables. Wine was used only for Mass and for the sick, meat not at all. They observed three “Lents” during the year, that of the Resurrection, that of the Nativity, and that of St. John the Baptist. During these they fasted on bread and water every day except Sundays and Thursdays, when they were allowed a few vegetables.” – Catholic Encyclopedia, “Fonte-Avellana”

“Led by the Holy Spirit, he went up to a certain mountain with two of his companions where he fasted on bread and water and dictated the rule as the Holy Spirit suggested to him in prayer.” –Bonaventure: The Life of St. Francis, p. 216 (1181 – 1226 A.D.)

“In 1415 he became superior of the convent at Aguilera and, on the death of Peter de Villacreces (1422), also of that at Tribulos or del Abroyo. He observed nine Lents, fasting on bread and water, and was endowed with the gift of miracles and prophecy and of every virtue.”  –Catholic Encyclopedia, “St. Peter de Regalado” (1390 – 1456 A.D.)

“Germaine learned early to practise humility and patience. She was gifted with a marvellous sense of the presence of God and of spiritual things, so that her lonely life became to her a source of light and blessing. To poverty, bodily infirmity, the rigours of the seasons, the lack of affection from those in her own home, she added voluntary mortifications and austerities, making bread and water her daily food.”  –Catholic Encyclopedia, “St. Germaine Cousin” (1579 – 1601 A.D.)

“She made a public confession of her faults in the refectory, discarded her costly garments, wore an old habit, went barefoot, frequently fasted on bread and water, chastised her body by vigils and severe scourging, and practised mortifications to such an extent that the decree of canonization considers the preservation of her life a continued miracle…She worked numerous miracles, had the gifts of prophecy and of discerning the secret thoughts of others. She was also favoured by heavenly ecstacies and raptures.”  –Catholic Encyclopedia, “St. Hyacintha Mariscotti” (1585 – 1640 A.D.)


Genesis 21:14: “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.”

Exodus 34:28: “And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.”  (cp. Deut. 9:9, 18)

1 Samuel 30:11-12: “And they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water; And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights.”

And many many others

UPDATE: 11/8/21

In addition to plain Thomas’s bagels and bottled water, I recommend including “Mean Green Juice” in your fast. Its effectiveness for extreme weight loss was demonstrated in the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (2010) by Joe Cross. The nutritional value of his “Mean Green Juice” enables you to continue fasting for months, so that pounds can be knocked off in 25s, 50s, or 100s. Using “Mean Green Juice” would require you to buy a juicer. I got one at Walmart for around $100 and its called a Nutribullet Juicer. The ingredients for “Mean Green Juice” are the following: 

  • 1 cucumber (remove 2 inches)
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 2 green apples (cored)
  • 1 bunch of kale (8 stalks)
  • 1 lemon (peeled)
  • 1 inch of ginger root

    Thomas' Plain Bagels - 20oz/6ct : TargetBottled Water by Aquafina® PEP04044 |

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