The donation was revealed Monday by Carlo Casini, the movement’s president, during the association’s national assembly in Rimini.
“I find it moving that this help, altogether unexpected and absolutely spontaneous, along with his words of encouragement and blessing, arrived on March 29, four days before the Holy Father’s death,” Casini said.
“I have decided to allocate the sum to the Gemma Project to ‘adopt’ those mothers who would be pushed to abort for financial reasons,” he added. The Gemma Project offers financial support to expectant mothers who opt against abortion in favor of life.
Gemma officials estimate that John Paul II’s gift would help to save nine children, whose fate was uncertain. Two of the nine expectant mothers who already have benefited from the donation are of Polish origin.
The Gemma Project enables an individual, a family, or a group to “adopt” a mother in difficulties by donating 160 euros a month during the last six months of her pregnancy and the baby’s first 12 months after birth. Since 1984 there have been 11,000 such “adoptions.”