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Pope Defends Life in the Womb on the Feast of the Birth of Our Lady - Angelus

The fruit of every womb is a blessing



ANGELUS: 7 FEBRUARY 1988

On Sunday, 7 February, the Holy Father gave the following address at the traditional noontime gathering for the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter's Square.


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. For ten years now the Italian Church has been celebrating, on the first Sunday of February, the Day for Life. On this occasion the Church of Rome has promoted a simple demonstration intended to call the attention of the city to this fundamental value. I greet the numerous representatives of associations, groups, movements, and faithful of the diocese present in St. Peter's Square for the recitation of the Marian prayer, along with the Cardinal Vicar and the Auxiliary Bishops.

2. Life is such an essential value that it is recognized also by people who are less attentive and motivated. However, our age, which often seems to have reached the apex of progress in many fields, is under insidious attack by a multiform culture and praxis of violence, which is implacably directed in a special way against the weakest and most vulnerable, such as the children still in their mothers' wombs, and the elderly, who are often abandoned and suffering deeply in spirit.

This day, therefore, is a needed pause for those who believe in Christ, and all people of good will, to reflect together on the sacred value of life in the entire gamut of its existence and, in a special way, on the primary duty of accepting new life.

3. In this Marian Year the Italian Episcopal Conference has happily chosen as the theme of the Day for Life the Gospel expression: "Blessed is the fruit of your womb". These words of Elizabeth to Mary, while recalling to believers the beginning of the salvation of humanity, reveal also that "children are a gift of the Lord" (Ps 126:3). If Mary is blessed among all women, every mother on earth is blessed, because the fruit of every womb is a blessing.

To reaffirm this truth is to say yes to life: a yes to true love between spouses, always open to life; an authentic yes which should help them to overcome the difficulties which will not be lacking, as they are present in every definitive choice.

4. To say yes to life like Mary Most Holy in the marvelous and historic moment for all humanity in the Annunciation, to thank God who has given us life through our beloved parents to rejoice and be in solidarity with those who are now called to transmit life and protect it: this is what I want to say to each of you today.

Young couples, do not be afraid to transmit life; social workers and pastoral workers, sustain and defend it in all the places where you are called to serve the great human community.

In this Marian Year she who is the Mother of Jesus and in Jesus Mother of all people, calls us to prepare the coming of the third millennium with the acceptance of new lives, with the commitment to train and educate them in the love of God and neighbor, to open new roads to trust and hope. To Mary we now entrust in prayer the fruit of every womb.

Teachings of the Magisterium on Abortion

Priests for Life
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