Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spanish Bishops declare 2009 the “Year of Prayer for Life” beginning February 2


Madrid (Agenzia Fides) – Upon the proposal made by the Bishops' Subcommittee for the Family and Defense of Life, Chaired by Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla of Cartagena, and upon the approval of the Executive Committee of the Spanish Bishops' Conference (CEE), a Year of Prayer for Life has been established, with the theme: "Blessed is the fruit of your womb." The initiative is to be celebrated in all the nation's dioceses, beginning on February 2, feast of the Presentation of the Lord and will be an effort to place in practice the words of Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae: "through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community."

The initiative, which was presented on a national level during the last Plenary Assembly of Bishops in November, has been approved by the CEE's Executive Committee. The Subcommittee, in order to encourage personal and community prayer, has distributed a series of materials to the Delegations of Family Apostolate across Spain, with the theme: "Blessed is the fruit of your womb." Included among the materials is a poster, a rosary, prayers for life, and prayer intentions for Eucharistic Adoration, the Mass, and the Liturgy of the Hours.

Bishop Reig Pla says the initiative "is urgent in light of the new laws being promoted in Spain, both on abortion and euthanasia." There is currently a debate underway in the country over an abortion law allowing free abortion during the first weeks of pregnancy. The Prelate has asked all the faithful, especially families with children and sick members to pray and "offer spiritual sacrifices" for this intention, and asked parish pastors to encourage the recitation of the Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration.

(RG) (Agenzia Fides 28/1/2009)