January 22, 2021
Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
Did You Know?
In the Catholic Church in the United States, January 22nd is designated as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.” As Catholics, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting, and/or giving alms.
Today, on this 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we mourn the many children’s lives ended by abortion and remember in prayer those who suffer the aftermath. The Church comes together today to pray for the protection of all unborn children and to make reparation for abortion, trusting that the Lord hears our prayers.
The importance of prayer is reflected in Evangelium vitae (100), which says, “A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, 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” (Evangelium vitae, 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
Fast from one meal today.
Offer this brief “Prayer for Life” for all unborn children whose lives are at risk.
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.
*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.
Image: A mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe decorates a side altar in the Church of Santa Maria della Famiglia at the Vatican. Dec. 15. (CNS photo/Paul Haring.)
Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life), no. 100 © 1995, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Models used for illustrative purposes only. iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2020, USCCB, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.