Pope Benedict XVI is calling on all Catholics to join in a “Vigil for all Nascent Human Life”, to be celebrated in local parishes and dioceses on Saturday, November 27th, the eve of the first Sunday of Advent.
The purpose of the vigil, according to the Holy See, is to ‘thank the Lord for his total self-giving to the world and for his Incarnation which gave every human life its real worth and dignity’ and to ‘invoke the Lord’s protection over every human being called into existence’.
The Pope will celebrate the vigil on that date in St. Peter’s Basilica and is requesting that “all diocesan bishops (and their equivalent) of every particular church preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements,” according to a communiqué from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments and the Pontifical Council for the Family collaborated in creating an outline for the vigil and the following options have now been suggested for parish use:
- Full Option One: Evening Prayer, Rosary and Benediction
- Full Option Two: Marian Procession, Rosary, Evening Prayer and Benediction
- Simplified Option One: Evening Prayer and Benediction (no Rosary)
- Simplified Option Two: Marian Procession, Rosary and Benediction (no Evening Prayer)
In a written statement for Respect Life Month, Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Texas, chairman of the pro-life committee of the Episcopal Conference, highlighted the “unprecedented” nature of this request from the Pontiff and encourages all Catholics to take part in this special prayer.
The Cardinal points out the chilling fact that “with over 1 million innocent children [in the US] dying from abortion each year, the plague of abortion remains embedded in our culture.” In the UK the figure is around 200,000. Worldwide a staggering 40 million babies are killed in their mothers’ wombs every year.
The Prelate affirmed:
“Becoming a voice for the child in the womb, and for the embryonic human being at risk of becoming a mere object of research, and for the neglected sick and elderly is one of many ways we can teach our fellow citizens that ‘The Measure of Love is to Love Without Measure.’ ”
As the silent holocaust of countless defenceless lives continues relentlessly, we must make our voices heard. Let our prayers of intercession and atonement rise to heaven, so that hardened hearts might melt, wounded souls be healed and innocent lives might be saved.
Our Lady of Guadelupe, patroness of the unborn, pray for us.
For an inspiring abortion survivor’s testimony, click here.