In a special message to Catholics across Ireland and Britain ahead of the Church’s annual Day for Life in October, Pope Francis has emphasised the need to care for life from conception to natural end.
The 2013 Day for Life message focuses on care for unborn children and their mothers; care for people who are elderly and care for those who are suicidal and their families. One of its key aims is to build an environment of compassion and care that nurtures and sustains life, even in the most challenging of human events and personal circumstances.
In his message, Pope Francis says that all life has inestimable value “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.”He has promised his prayers that “Day for Life will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that it is due.”
The theme of this year’s Day for Life is “Care for Life – It’s Worth It.” It falls this year in Ireland on Oct. 6.
The theme is taken from a homily delivered in 2005 by Pope Francis, when as Cardinal Bergoglio he preached during a Mass in honour of the protector of pregnant women, Saint Raymond Nonnatus.
In this homily, the now Pope Francis said: “All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth … to give life is to open (our) heart, and to care for life is to (give oneself) in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart 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.”
Text of the Message from Pope Francis 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).”