March 14, 2016

How A Cypriot Village Kept the Blessed Three Day Fast

The occupied Cypriot village of Zodeia

By Vasilios Haralambous

The elderly of my enslaved village of Zodeia remember the Orthodox habit of certain villagers who observed the so-called "three-day fast", which is kept for the first three days of Great Lent. Beginning on Clean Monday they would do a three-day fast, without food or water. This blessed Orthodox habit is now mainly practiced in monasteries.

These blessed people did not want to differ from the other villagers. Together they worked the fields, because this was their chief occupation, and they worked until dusk, without boasting for their efforts. Only in a small cafe of the village did they not go at all. On Wednesday of Clean Week at dusk, the rest of the villagers waited for the "three-dayers" who were absent from the cafe and they treated them to some tea. Of course the others were fasting as well, but few observed the "three-days".

These blessed people likened fasting with the other Christian virtues. What we chant in church: "The divine beginning of the fast...", was for them a rule of life as an exercise to acquire the other Christian virtues.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.