Pope Benedict will hold a prayer vigil for unborn babies on Nov. 27, the evening before the First Sunday of Advent, at St. Peter’s Basilica in conjunction with Vespers for the Start of Advent and he is requesting that parishes, religious communities, associations and movements the world over host vigils in communion with him.
The Pope said:
“The season of preparation for Christmas is an appropriate time for invoking divine protection over every human being called into existence and for thanking God for the gift of life we received from our parents,”
This Vigil for Nascent Human Life, which has pro-life leaders rejoicing, will be held after Vespers for the Start of Advent. EWTN will televise both celebrations beginning at 11 a.m. ET, Sat., Nov. 27.
The Pope said he will pray for the unborn and their parents, for an end to abortion and research that destroys embryos, for recognition of the dignity of every human life, for the overturning of laws that permit the destruction of innocent lives, and for the healing of those who have acted against innocent human life.
He asks that all diocesan bishops (and their equivalent) preside over similar celebrations involving Catholics in every state of life around the world. (Read in full at EWTN)
Advent begins this Saturday night…candles in churches and homes will be lit…and prayers will be prayed. But this Advent will be different in its introductory tone in many Churches around the world who have pledged to pray in union with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI for “All Nascent Human Life”. The Pope has made an unprecedented request to all Bishops around the world to reserve first vespers on November 27th for the specific intention of all life on the verge of coming into existence. The Unborn.
The timing for these prayers for children not-yet born, sets the tone for our anticipation of the Christ-child anew. It is also a reminder to us that our Lord, too, began His earthly life in a precarious state of complete dependence upon a woman for all nourishment while being carried for nine months in Mary’s womb. Advent turns our gaze to the anticipation of His coming, and preparation of the great feast of Christmas, and yet, it is the anticipation with the Christ child for the birth of every child.
Are we ready to welcome him? Let us prepare our hearts for the Lord, in our prayers for every child in waiting to be born.
__What Others are Saying __
Prayer materials have been developed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Pontifical Council for the Family, and are available on the USCCB Pro-Life site.
You may also feel a desire to write a note of support of this project to the Pope at the Yes! for Benedict website.
Thanksgiving with the Holy Father By Mary McClusky
Life News: Pope’s Vigil for Nascent Human Life “Could not be more Important
Catholic News Agency: Spanish Bishops Encourage Participation
Zenit: Holy Father Urges Participation in Pro-Life Vigil
Fr. Z explains the word nascent very well.
Lisa Graas: Pope Benedict to Celebrate “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life”
Prayer of Pope John Paul II
O Mary, bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it
resolutely, in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
– Evangelium Vitae, 105