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