ANGELUS: 7 FEBRUARY 1988
The fruit of every
womb is a blessing
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
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