Pope Benedict XVI sends message to youth gathered for pro-life Masses in Washington

January 23, 2012

Each year, the Archdiocese of Washington hosts a Youth Rally and Mass for Life. Approximately 30,000 youth from around the country who are in Washington to be witnesses to life gather at the Verizon Center, D.C. Armory and several parishes in the city on the anniversary of legalized abortion in the United States.

Immediately before this year’s Mass, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, read a message sent on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington:

Your Eminence,

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI asks you kindly to convey his cordial greetings to the more than thirty thousand young people from throughout the United States who will gather in Washington on 23 January for the annual Youth Rally and Mass for Life held in conjunction with the national March for Life.

His Holiness is deeply grateful to all who take part in this outstanding annual witness to the Gospel of Life, and to the many others who support them by fasting and prayer. He urges them, as followers of Christ and as responsible citizens concerned for the future of our society, to persevere in their efforts to ensure legal protection for the most defenseless members of the human family. Conscious of the essential role which young people are called to play in the new evangelization and in the shaping of a truly just social order, he willingly repeats to them the words of encouragement which he addressed to the two million youth from throughout the world assembled last summer in Madrid: “The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world” (Prayer Vigil, 20 August 2011).

With great affection the Holy Father commends all those participating in the March for Life to the prayers of Mary, Mother of the Church, and cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abiding joy and peace in the Lord.

With every good wish, I remain
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone
Secretary of State

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