Marian Basilicas Around the World Commemorate 'Evangelium Vitae'

Events Will Celebrate 20th Anniversary of St. John Paul II’s Encyclical

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An international vigil will take place in 4 major Marian basilicas around the world to commemorate the 20thanniversary of the St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae”.

The event was described by the Pontifical Council for the Family as a “form of thanksgiving for the fruits of the pastoral care of life, and will also serve to spread the benefits of prayer for life as well as to recall eternal life, the destiny of every human being.”

In a communique sent by the discastery, the vigil is set to begin this afternoon at Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major with an explanation of various artistic elements of the basilica relating to the theme of life. It will then be followed by a rosary and conclude with the celebration of Mass presided by Archbishop Vicenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

“The anniversary of the Encyclical and this vigil that commemorates it, on the eve of the Annunciation, is particularly meaningful as it makes manifest the intimate connection between the mystery of life and the experience of the family, made up of affection and social relationships,” Archbishop Paglia said in a statement. “Defending life means participating in the alliance between God, man and woman.”

The Marian shrines of Fatima, Lourdes and Guadalupe will also participate in today’s celebration with the recitation of the Rosary.

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