Britain’s annual Day for Life focuses on care for unborn children and their mothers, the elderly, and those who are suicidal and their families. The Day for Life will be celebrated Sunday, July 28 in England and Wales; the day was observed earlier in Scotland, on May 28. In England and Wales alone, there were 189,574 abortions reported in 2009–more than 26% of children conceived.
This year’s slogan was drawn from a homily which was preached by then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) in a 2005 liturgy honoring St. Raymond Nonnatus, protector of expectant mothers. In that homily, Pope Francis said,
“We must all care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth…. To give life is to open our hearts, and to care for life is to give oneself in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in our hearts for others—caring for life from the beginning to the end. What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing…. So, go forth and don’t be discouraged. Care for life. It’s worth it.”
The proceeds of the Day for Life collection will support the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and other life-related activities supported by the Church.
Following is the full text of Pope Francis’ message to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales:
“Calling to mind the teaching of Saint Irenaeus that the glory of God is seen in a living human being, the Holy Father encourages all of you to let the light of that glory shine so brightly that everyone may come to recognise the inestimable value of all human life. Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect. His Holiness prays that the Day for Life will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that is its due, so that “everything that breathes may praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).”