The Power of Fasting

The inspiring words of Julie Browning, a Mary’s Meals fundraiser

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I first learned about Mary's Meals in Medjugorje in 2017. Father Leon, the chaplain for English-speaking pilgrims in Medjugorje, was giving a talk about the impact of fasting. He suggested that we start by abstaining from one meal and visit the Mary’s Meals Information Centre in the town centre where we could donate to the charity. The team at the Information Centre also offers bread and water to those who are fasting.

I was intrigued by Father Leon’s words and went along to the centre with two ladies from our group. As we arrived, we were offered bread and water and we watched a selection of videos about the charity’s work in countries such as Malawi, where the Mary’s Meals school feeding programme now feeds over a million children every school day. I was deeply moved by a young child describing what it is to be hungry and how her stomach pains prevent her from sleeping. I started to cry. That was the moment I knew I had to do something to help.

I began my fundraising efforts for Mary’s Meals with a small project of my own, hosting a meal around Christmas time and asking friends to donate. I didn’t quite achieve my initial target of £500, but it was at a time when donations were matched and doubled, so I knew that it was a worthwhile effort.


About six months later, we experienced the tragic loss of our beautiful daughter Hannah, who died of pneumonia in Australia aged 26. We asked at her funeral that any donations made by friends and family be made to Mary’s Meals. We raised over £600. Everyone was so generous.

This year, my husband and I hope to raise £10,000 by walking the Camino De Santiago at the beginning of September. We will walk across Spain, from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela, and have allocated seven weeks to complete this epic journey. We sincerely hope that every step we take helps put food in a child’s stomach. We also hope that Hannah’s memory is cherished and that she is with us in spirit.

May God bless this amazing charity.


Help this kind-hearted couple to raise funds to feed some of the world’s poorest children.