February 11, 2022
Nineveh’s Fast is the commemoration of the penance of the Ninevites through the preaching of Jonah. It lasts for three whole days, representing the time spent by Jonah inside the belly of the whale, starting on a Monday to Wednesday exactly two weeks before the fast of the Great Lent. The eating of fish and all forms of animal fat are abstained from by the Church during this fast. (Jonah 3:1-10)
The story of Jonah is the resemblances of Lord Jesus Christ expedition to preach repentance; of as similar as Jonah’s passage: but whereas the Jonah fled, not knowing what should come to pass; Lord came with His will, to give repentance unto salvation. Jonah was asleep in the ship, and snoring amidst the stormy sea; while Lord Jesus also slept, the sea, according to God’s providence, began to rise, to show in the sequel the might of Him who slept. To the one they said, “Why are you sleeping? Arise, call you’re your God, that God may save us;” but in the other case they say unto the Master, “Lord, save us.”
Then, they said, Call upon your God; here they say, save you. But Jonah says, Take me, and cast me into the sea; so shall the sea be calm for you; the Lord, Himself rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Jonah was cast into a whale’s belly: but the Lord of His own accord went down, where the invisible whale of death is and accord that death might cast up those whom he had devoured, according to that which is written, I will ransom them from the power of the grave; and from the hand of death I will redeem them.
Lastly in the story, Prophet Jonah went to the people of Nineveh and spread the word of God for they would repent and quire for mercy before the city is destroyed. So, they all prayed and fasted for three consecutive days for God will have mercy upon them.
At the end, God willed to save the Nineveh people.
Brethren! We shall all pray and fast during these three days pleading God for His mercy. May God have mercy upon us, Amen!
Source: Saint Verena American Orthodox Church