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Fr. Frank Pavone Participates in Worldwide Prayer Vigil for Life in Rome - March 24, 2015

March 25, 2015 marked the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) by Pope St. John Paul II in 1995. The date of publication, of course, is the Solemnity of the Annunciation, when Mary said her “Yes” to God, who then became an unborn child within her body.

A special prayer vigil for life was held in Rome on March 24th, the Vigil of the Annunciation, to commemorate this anniversary. The event was organized by the Pontifical Council for the Family, and Priests for Life participated and helped promote it.

There were about a thousand people present inside the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, and the Italian and other international media were broadcasting the event. The service lasted just under three hours, starting with three commentaries on life inspired by the artwork in Basilica, followed by the recitation of five decades of the rosary with the five meditations, and concluding with Mass offered by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Similar vigils for life were offered in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, at Fatima, at Lourdes, and at Nazareth, as well as in local dioceses around the world. Priests for Life encourages churches who have not done this to choose a day in the Easter season and have a vigil for life in honor of the 20th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae.

Fr. Frank Pavone led a decade of the Rosary at the Vigil and made the remarks below.  

As Fr. Frank spoke, a large screen showed various pictures of our Priests for Life ministry. See those pictures below.

Click here for more information. 

See Fr. Frank's remarks and photos on the Pontifical Council for the Family website.

Watch a video of Fr. Frank's remarks

Fr. Frank with Geoffrey Strickland of the Priests for Life Rome office.

Fr. Frank's remarks at the Prayer Vigil
Priesthood and pro-life ministry are essentially linked, because as Evangelium Vitae says, "The Gospel of God's love for man, the Gospel of the dignity of the person and the Gospel of life are a single and indivisible Gospel" (EV #3). Defending the dignity of the human person is not a task "added onto" our ministry, but rather one that flows inseparably from its very heart.

Christ gives Himself away on the cross and in the Eucharist, and there we find the meaning of love: I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. This is the exact opposite of abortion, which says, I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself. The same words that Jesus and His priests use to proclaim love are used by defenders of abortion: This is my body. Some control their bodies so others die; Christ gives His Body away, so others live.

Those who live the consecrated life bear witness to the words of St. Paul: "You are not your own." They declare that their lives, their choices, their bodies belong to God, and that true freedom consists in union with him, not in asserting our own will.

In her pro-life commitment, the Church does not point fingers of condemnation, but rather extends hands of mercy and hope, to lift out of despair those who think they need to have an abortion, as well as those who have already had abortions. We at Priests for Life operate Rachel's Vineyard, the world's largest ministry for healing after abortion, and have helped people who have had as many as 25 abortions. Evangelium Vitae expresses the commitment of the Church to bring forgiveness and healing to such people. Priests and religious are a sign and an invitation to that reconciliation and mercy. The healing extends not only to the mom and dad, but to the whole family, to friends, and even to the abortionists. And those who have had abortions can, as Evangelium Vitae says, by their own testimonies of pain and healing, be the most eloquent voices on behalf of life.

Program book for worldwide Vigil for Life Tue night in Rome where Fr. Frank gave a meditation. The title says, “The Gift of Life.”

Fr. Frank gets ready for the Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, on Wed marking the 20th anniversary of “The Gospel of Life"

The photos below were provided by Priests for Life to be shown on the big screen during Fr. Frank's remarks.

The photos below were provided by Priests for Life to be shown on the big screen during Fr. Frank's remarks.

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