This novena, which marks the 44th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the US, starts today.
Have you ever made a pilgrimage?
Maybe you haven’t gone on a traditional pilgrimage to a place like Lourdes, Fatima, or a famous cathedral. But a pilgrimage is about more than an inspiring destination; it’s about a journey undertaken as a prayer, often for a particular intention.
The bishops of the United States are proposing a different type of pilgrimage, one particularly fitting for our day: a nine-day digital pilgrimage, starting today.
Sunday marks the 44th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the US, so the bishops are suggesting that for nine days (a novena), the “9 Days for Life” initiative can give people the chance to be pilgrims in prayer without leaving home. This year the novena runs from Saturday, Jan. 21, through Sunday, Jan. 29.
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 will 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, and 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 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!”
Sign up here: www.9daysforlife.com.