Have you made a pilgrimage lately?
Maybe you’ve been blessed enough to take what many of us consider a traditional pilgrimage: traveling to a destination like Lourdes, Fatima, or even a special cathedral here in the United States. But a pilgrimage is about more than an inspiring destination; it’s about a journey undertaken as a prayer for a particular intention.
This year, your bishops are asking you to dedicate yourself to a particular pilgrimage, praying for the protection of all life over a 9-day novena. This January 22nd marks the anniversary of the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Forty-four years later, over 56 million children’s lives have been ended, and their parents, grandparents, siblings, and many others suffer in the aftermath.
Whether or not you make a physical pilgrimage to a pro-life demonstration this January, you are invited to join a digital pilgrimage for life. For the last several years, “9 Days for Life” has enabled thousands and thousands of Catholics around the country to “walk together” prayerfully through the nine days surrounding the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This year it’s Saturday, January 21 through Sunday the 29th.
The Church joyfully proclaims that each person’s life has value—from conception to natural death. So in addition to praying for an end to abortion, we pray for all who are vulnerable. This year’s novena includes specific petitions for those suffering from infertility, as well as victims of domestic violence, among others. Increasingly, as more states consider legalizing doctor-assisted suicide, we also pray that sick and dying persons may receive care that fully respects their dignity.
To stay on the virtual pilgrimage all nine days, you can download the prayers in advance, follow along on social media, or sign up to receive them via email, text messages, or smartphone apps. Along with daily prayer intentions, “9 Days for Life” also suggests acts of reparation, ways to share the campaign, and other creative ideas.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and chair of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, plans to participate: “Remember how during his visit to the United States, Pope Francis called us to ‘stand up for life’? 9 Days for Life is a great way to put our faith into action!”
One important aspect of pilgrimages is that the participant grows spiritually and perhaps even develops some resolutions by the pilgrimage’s completion. “9 Days for Life” seeks to foster a deeper understanding of the value of life and encourages participants to continue to pray, support, and advocate for life long after the pilgrimage’s end.
Sign up today to make this “virtual pilgrimage” for life with thousands of others at www.9daysforlife.com.
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