BishopsInvite All Catholics to Make a Digital Pilgrimage for Life
Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities
When people hear the word "pilgrimage," many
think of far-off destinations, such as Lourdes, Fatima, or Santiago de
Compostela. Today, in the digital era, we have the opportunity to make a
pilgrimage without ever leaving our hometown. In fact, the U.S. Bishops are
asking Catholics to consider making a digital pilgrimage. The overarching intention is the end to abortion, however, as Catholics, we also recognize the need to pray for the protection of and respect for all human life.
Christians have been making pilgrimages
since the Apostolic Age, motivated not only by the desire to venerate holy
relics and places, but also to make a prayer out of their journey.
Whether they are walking for a month
across France and Spain to Santiago de Compostela or flying to Mexico to visit
the apparition site of Our Lady of Guadalupe, pilgrims make sacrifices often
resulting in aching feet and weary bones, but also in an increased love for the
Lord and gratitude for all of His blessings.
As wonderful and spiritually enriching
as these opportunities are, monetary, physical and family circumstances often
keep us from embarking on such journeys. However, just because we can't trek 30
miles per day, we can still undertake a pilgrimage—a prayerful and sacrificial
journey for a special intention.
This January 22nd marks the anniversary of
the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade
decision, which legalized abortion throughout pregnancy. Forty-four years later,
over 57 million children's lives have been ended, and their parents,
grandparents, siblings and many others suffer in the aftermath.
Of course, the unborn are not the only
ones whose lives we should petition God to protect. We should pray regularly for
the hungry, those without shelter, persons with disabilities, and all who are
vulnerable. As bills legalizing doctor-assisted suicide are being introduced in a growing number of states, we should also pray that all those nearing the end of their lives may
receive care that respects the sanctity of their lives. The Church recognizes
and joyfully proclaims that each person's life has value—from conception to
It is with these intentions for the
respect and protection of human life in mind that the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops invites all Catholics to make a 9 day digital pilgrimage. "9
Days for Life" will take place January 21-29 (the nine days surrounding the
anniversary of Roe v. Wade). To
participate, visit www.9daysforlife.com and sign up for
daily alerts (accessible via email, text message, or an app) or download and
print the novena.
Together, people across the country can
unite in prayer for the protection of life at all stages.
Along with daily prayer intentions, "9
Days for Life" also provides reflections, suggested acts of reparation, and
additional resources. 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 now at www.9daysforlife.com to join this
important spiritual journey! Bilingual leader resources are available at www.goo.gl/JzZak6.