In October 2017 it will be 50 years since the 1967 Abortion Act was passed in England, Scotland and Wales. This year’s Day for Life provides us with an opportunity to pray for and remember all lives lost before birth and to offer practical and emotional support to women and men who are worried and concerned about an unexpected pregnancy.
For those who have had an abortion, this anniversary year is a reminder that 50 years on: ‘there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father’.
In his Angelus address on the Italian Day for Life in February this year, Pope Francis said to thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square, ‘May no one be left alone and may love defend the sense of life’. Citing the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, he continued: ‘Life is beauty, admire it. Life is life, fight for it… Each life is sacred. Let’s pray together for those children who are in danger of interruption of pregnancy and for those who are nearing the end of life.’ These words can help us rediscover a spirit of awe towards the gift of human life and stir our hearts to the wonder of this gift.
Pope Francis also points out that we have not done enough to support and accompany pregnant women in desperate circumstances.
Within our parish communities, we are called to reach out and accompany all those who are alone, and to offer real practical support to those in need, which includes worried mums and dads and those struggling with the news of their pregnancy.
Vigils of prayer are encouraged on the eve of Day for Life, on 17 June, and also on 27 October 2017. The latter is the date, 50 years ago, when the Abortion Act received Royal Assent.
This download will enable you and your community to keep a vigil of prayer on these occasions.