Life should be protected and nurtured from conception to natural death

Day for Life


Day for Life is the day in the Catholic Church’s year dedicated to celebrating and upholding the dignity of human life. The Church teaches that life should be protected and nurtured from conception to natural death. Please support this vital work in any way you feel able.


This year’s Day for Life is celebrated on 31 May in Scotland, 18 June in England and Wales and Sunday 1 October in Ireland.


In October 2017 it will be 50 years since the 1967 Abortion Act was passed in England, Scotland and Wales. This year’s Day for Life provides us with an opportunity to pray for and remember all lives lost before birth and to offer practical and emotional support to women and men who are worried and concerned about an unexpected pregnancy.


For those who have had an abortion, this anniversary year is a reminder that 50 years on: ‘there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father’.


In his Angelus address on the Italian Day for Life in February this year, Pope Francis said to thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square, ‘May no one be left alone and may love defend the sense of life’. Citing the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, he continued: ‘Life is beauty, admire it. Life is life, fight for it… Each life is sacred. Let’s pray together for those children who are in danger of interruption of pregnancy and for those who are nearing the end of life.’ These words can help us rediscover a spirit of awe towards the gift of human life and stir our hearts to the wonder of this gift.


Pope Francis also points out that we have not done enough to support and accompany pregnant women in desperate circumstances.


Within our parish communities, we are called to reach out and accompany all those who are alone, and to offer real practical support to those in need, which includes worried mums and dads and those struggling with the news of their pregnancy.


Vigils of prayer are encouraged on the eve of Day for Life, on 17 June, and also on 27 October 2017. The latter is the date, 50 years ago, when the Abortion Act received Royal Assent.


This download will enable you and your community to keep a vigil of prayer on these occasions.

Day for Life 2017 – Vigils

The ‘Rite of Final Commendation for an Infant’ may be used in the case of a stillborn or a new born infant who dies shortly after birth.

This short rite of prayer is intended to help bring comfort to the parents and to entrust the infant to God.  Rite of Final Commendation

It is a model which can be adapted by the minister.  It may be used in a hospital, place of birth, or at the time of the committal of the body.


A future

Jenny could see no future for herself and her baby when she found herself pregnant, homeless and in debt. But she sought help and was given a room in a house run by a local pro-life charity, Life Housing, where she now lives with her son, Oliver. The local Catholic parish provided baby clothes, toys and Christmas presents, and a local charity gave a pram and other equipment. She received help to clear her debts and soon mother and baby will move into their first home, a fully furnished two-bedroom house. When Jenny was at her most vulnerable, discovering she was not alone saved her life, and Oliver’s.


Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Life Within:

O Mary, Mother of the Life Within, all life we entrust to you;
The life of every expectant mother and the child within her womb:
The life of every human body, the life of every human soul;
The life of every new born child and the life of all grown old.
You held the Lord to your own heart and drew Him so close in.
So draw us now in all our needs, O Mother of the Life Within.


We’ve recorded a number of films and podcasts – interviews, testimonies and features – on a variety of the annual Day for Life themes. Listen and watch a selection here.

Please support this vital work in any way you feel able.


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