ROME – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, is in Rome this week to help lead the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the publication of Pope Saint John Paul’s encyclical, The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae).
Tomorrow night there will be an international pro-life vigil at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. Father Pavone will be one of five international pro-life leaders helping to lead the prayers and giving a reflection at the vigil, which has been organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family.
The vigil will begin at 5 p.m. in Rome (noon ET) with a reception. The Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. (1 p.m. ET), with focus on the contemplation of Gospel passages related to the theme of life and interspersed with short testimonies.
At 7 p.m. (2 p.m. ET), Father Pavone will concelebrate Mass presided over by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Father Pavone worked for the Council for the Family in the years immediately following the publication of Evangelium Vitae.
Father Pavone also will concelebrate Mass on Wednesday at St. Peter’s Basilica and take part in an audience with Pope Francis.
The events commemorating the anniversary of Evangelium Vitae will highlight the importance of prayer in the fight for life. Father Pavone noted that these types of services can be replicated by churches and dioceses all over the world throughout the Easter season. Similar services are planned this week in Fatima, Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico City) and Nazareth.
“We have urged all Dioceses and Churches to participate in this special commemoration,” said Father Pavone. “Along with prayer services, we urge renewed study of the encyclical, and we've provided a study guide and other resources at www.ProLifeTeachings.com.
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.