Day Five: January 16, 2023
Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
Did You Know? “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 373). More Information: usccb.org/january-22
Intercession: May all unborn children be protected in law and welcomed in love.
Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today, we mourn the many children’s lives ended by abortion and remember in prayer those who suffer the aftermath. We pray that children in their mothers’ wombs would again be protected in law and do penance in reparation for abortions that have been committed in our world.
In his encyclical Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life), Pope John Paul II said, “may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer” (EV 100). May that prayer arise in our hearts today and each day forward until every human being is protected in law and welcomed in love.
Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)
- Fast from one meal today.
- Offer this brief “Prayer for Life” for all unborn children whose lives are at risk. (The prayer is also available at usccb.org/prayer-for-life.)
Father and maker of all,
you adorn all creation
with splendor and beauty,
and fashion human lives
in your image and likeness.
Awaken in every heart
reverence for the work of your hands,
and renew among your people
a readiness to nurture and sustain
your precious gift of life.
Grant this through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in
the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever.
- Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.
One Step Further: More women and girls consider abortion than we may realize. They are our relatives and friends, people who work with us or for us. Even if someone identifies as being pro-life, the shock of an unexpected pregnancy, the devastation of a difficult prenatal diagnosis, shame, pressures, or fears may influence her to consider abortion.
If someone shared with you that she was pregnant and hadn’t ruled out having an abortion, would you know how to respond in a loving way that is life-affirming for both her and her baby? Learn about the four steps of the L.O.V.E. Approach™*: Listen and Learn, Open Options, Vision and Value, and Extend and Empower (respectlife.org/l-o-v-e).
*The L.O.V.E. Approach™ is trademarked by Heartbeat International, Inc. and may not be adapted or modified. The L.O.V.E. Approach™ is used in “What to Do When a Friend Is Considering Abortion” with permission from Heartbeat International, Inc.
Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life), no. 100 © 1995, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2022, USCCB, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.