Vatican City, 17 July 2013 (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a special message to Catholics across Britain and Ireland, ahead of the annual Day for Life, which was held in Scotland on 28 May, and will be celebrated in England and Wales next Sunday, 28 July. The theme of the event will be ‘Care for Life – It’s Worth It’, taken from a homily preached by Cardinal Bergoglio in 2005 during a Mass in honour of St. Raymond Nonnatus, protector of expectant mothers.

On that occasion, Pope Francis emphasised that “We must all care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth ... to give life is to open our hearts, and to care for life is to give oneself in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in our hearts for others. Caring for life from the beginning to the end. What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing... So, go forth and don’t be discouraged. Care for life. It’s worth it.”

This year’s Day for Life in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland focuses on care for unborn children and their mothers, the elderly, and those who are suicidal and their families. The proceeds of the Day for Life collection, to be held in parishes in England and Wales on 28 July, will assist the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and other life-related activities supported by the Church.

The full text of the Pope's message is given below:

“Calling to mind the teaching of Saint Irenaeus that the glory of God is seen in a living human being, the Holy Father encourages all of you to let the light of that glory shine so brightly that everyone may come to recognise the inestimable value of all human life. Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect. His Holiness prays that the Day for Life will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that is its due, so that 'everything that breathes may praise the Lord'”.

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