The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is calling on Catholics across the US to join in the ‘9 Days for Life’ novena next week. This annual event, running from January 16 to 24, represents a concerted effort in prayer and action for the respect and legal protection of unborn children.

Marking its 12th year, the novena holds special significance as it coincides with the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children on January 22, a date that also recalls the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973. This year’s novena gains additional meaning following the 2022 Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which said the US Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.

The novena, first initiated in 2013 on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, has since become a global phenomenon. “It has reached hundreds of thousands of people in over 100 countries spanning six continents,” the USCCB noted in a press release. Emphasizing the enduring need for prayer and advocacy, the bishops highlight that the fight against the “tragedy of abortion” continues, despite these legal shifts.

Each day of the novena focuses on a specific intention, accompanied by prayers, reflections, and suggested actions. For instance, the first day’s intention is a powerful call: “May the tragic practice of abortion end.” This is coupled with thoughtful reflections on the sanctity of life, regardless of health or ability, and acts of reparation including prayers and personal sacrifices.

Catholics can participate by signing up to receive daily prayers and resources in English or Spanish through the USCCB website. They encourage involvement in this solemn observance through united effort in prayer seeking to foster a transformative culture of life, because “at every stage and in every circumstance, we are held in existence by God’s love.”

Pray for the protection of life!


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