Pope’s Feb ’17 Urgent Intention: Sacredness of Life

Each month, Pope Francis prays for a specific intention and asks us to join him. These intentions are planned up to two years in advance. [learn more about the process here] He also shares an “urgent” prayer intention each month in response to the current needs of the world.

Pope Francis’ Urgent Prayer Intention for February 2017:

Sacredness of Life: We pray for the children who are in danger of the interruption of pregnancy, as well as for persons who are at the end of life — every life is sacred! — so that no one is left alone and that love may defend the meaning of life.

There are many ways to pray for this intention, including throwing up a few Hail Marys or Our Fathers “for the sacredness of life…” or for “Pope Francis’ intentions,” the latter of which is handy when you can’t remember this month’s intention. You can pray with Pope Francis however you like, but we put a few ideas together to help get you started:

Suggested Prayers:

Praying is the best and most effective way to bring about supernatural change in the world. If you’d like to get your hands dirty with other actions in addition to prayer, here are some things you might like to try:

Suggested Actions:

  • Volunteer at a local pregnancy center – use this tool to find one near you.
  • Download The Life App and learn how to help a friend who’s become pregnant unexpectedly.
  • Contact your political representatives and let them know of your commitment to life at all stages. Use this tool to find your representatives. (Contact both national – senators, members of congress – AND state-level reps – governor, state sentators, etc – many laws that deal with life issues are on the state level.)

Further Reading:

Prayers

Prayer for the Respect of Life  [back to prayer list]

Heavenly Father, the beauty and dignity of human life was the crowning of your creation. You further ennobled that life when your Son became one with us in his incarnation. Help us to realize the sacredness of human life and to respect it from the moment of conception until the last moment at death. Give us courage to speak with truth and love and with conviction in defence of life. Help us to extend the gentle hand of mercy and forgiveness to those who do not reverence your gift of life. To all, grant pardon for the times we have failed to be grateful for your precious gift of life or to respect it in others. We ask this in Jesus’ Name.
Amen.

Prayer for the Sanctity of Life [back to prayer list]

Heavenly Father, we are gathered here today to celebrate the greatest gift conferred by Thee on all of us, the gift of life itself.

We acknowledge that Thou art of the Lord of Life; Thou alone givest and Thou alone taketh it in Thy Own time.

We pray that Thou wilt open the eyes of those who promote abortion, may they realize that life is precious from the moment of its conception in the mother’s womb through its natural end.

We know that Thou doth consider life so precious that Thou went so far as sending Thy Son Jesus christ to suffer and die that we may live not only on this earth but that we may have eternal life with Thee at the hour of our death,

Help us grasp the enormity and the sanctity of this gift and grant us the strength to hold on to this truth until Thou calleth us to life with Thee forever.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Intercessions: Life from Conception to Natural Death [back to prayer list]

For a growing love of each human person
from conception to natural death;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

That the life of every human person,
from conception to natural death,
might be enshrined and protected in our laws;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For a growing love of God’s little ones,
in the womb, in the nursing home or at death’s door:
That we might love with the love of Jesus;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

Intercessions: End of Life [back to prayer list]

For the oldest man who in sickness approaches death:
that in his weakness we may find strength,
and in his suffering see the cross of Christ;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For those who have grown very old,
especially elderly parents and godparents:
that the love and respect of their children
might sustain them and bring them joy;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For all who live in nursing homes,
and especially for those who are alone or in pain:
that we might cherish the gift of their wisdom,
and the perduring example of their faith;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For families who have grown very old:
that we might rejoice in the gift of their presence
and cherish their wisdom;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For those who have grown very old,
and especially for those tempted to die:
that God might grant them patient endurance
to do his will and serve his Gospel;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For all who are about to die:
that through our love, care, and devotion,
they might know the beauty of life,
to the moment of their final breath;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For all who are about to die,
and for their families:
that God might gently lead them home;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For those who are dying:
that they may await your call
with calm and dignity;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For those who have grown old or weak:
that we might see God’s power in their fragility;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For those struggling with terrible diseases:
that each day might be a new revelation
of God’s love for them;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For those for whom death is near:
that all their days of walking with the Lord
might show them the way home;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For those tempted to despair by constant pain:
that they might join their suffering
to the Cross of Christ;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

Intercessions: Death Penalty [back to prayer list]

For the men and women who sit on death row,
awaiting the end of their life:
that we might pray for them
with compassion and care;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For those who have lost hope,
and especially for those condemned to die:
that we might work to save their lives;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For those condemned to die,
and especially for men and women on death row:
that their plight might move the hearts of the people of this nation;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

For guards on death row,
and all who touch the lives of those condemned to die:
for compassion, respect,
and an appreciation of the dignity of all human life;
We pray to the Lord: Lord hear our prayer.

Litany of Life [back to prayer list]

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

God of all creation: Lord, have mercy.
Christ, through whom all things were made: Lord, have mercy.
Spirit of life and truth: Lord, have mercy.

On each child just conceived: Lord, have mercy.
For their safety and health: Lord, have mercy.
For nine months of growth: Lord, have mercy.
That an angel may protect them: Lord, have mercy.

For peace and for hope: Lord, have mercy.

On all new fathers: Lord, have mercy.
On fathers who are alone: Lord, have mercy.
On fathers unemployed: Lord, have mercy.
On fathers addicted: Lord, have mercy.
On fathers who are abusive: Lord, have mercy.
On young fathers who are afraid: Lord, have mercy.
On fathers who’ve run away: Lord, have mercy.

On all new mothers: Lord, have mercy.
On mothers who are alone: Lord, have mercy.
On mothers unemployed: Lord, have mercy.
On mothers addicted: Lord, have mercy.
On mothers who are abusive: Lord, have mercy.
On young mothers who are afraid: Lord, have mercy.
On mothers who are in pain: Lord, have mercy.

On those who defend life: Lord, have mercy.
On those who love the child in the womb: Lord, have mercy.
On those who pray for the unborn child: Lord, have mercy.
On all who work to change unjust laws: Lord, have mercy.
On all who live the Gospel of Life: Lord, have mercy.

On Congressmen who work for life: Lord, have mercy.
On our President: Lord, have mercy.
On the members of the House: Lord, have mercy.
On the members of the Senate: Lord, have mercy.
On all too little to vote or persuade: Lord, have mercy.
On all who work for life: Lord, have mercy.

On doctors of life and of truth: Lord, have mercy.
On residents who love the little child: Lord, have mercy.
On doctors who gaze on life’s mysteries: Lord, have mercy.
On physicians who see into the womb: Lord, have mercy.
On surgeons who heal the unborn child: Lord, have mercy.
On all who defend the child in the womb: Lord, have mercy.
On nurses who love little babies: Lord, have mercy.
On nursing students: Lord, have mercy.

On those who first hear the heartbeat: Lord, have mercy.
On those who first feel a kick: Lord, have mercy.
On nurses who cradle the newborn: Lord, have mercy.
On nurses who foster the unborn: Lord, have mercy.

On all who protect defenseless life: Lord, have mercy.
On judges who struggle with justice: Lord, have mercy.
On lawyers who seek to speak truth: Lord, have mercy.
On judges who love life: Lord, have mercy.
On the judges of our Supreme Court: Lord, have mercy.
On those who argues before them: Lord, have mercy.

On the unborn child who rests in their hands: Lord, have mercy.
On all victims of abortion: Lord, have mercy.
On the woman whose memories cause her to cry: Lord, have mercy.
On those whose pain nags and holds on: Lord, have mercy.
On the unborn who rest with God: Lord, have mercy.
On all who seek mercy: Lord, have mercy.
On all who seek peace: Lord, have mercy.
On all who seek healing and mercy and perfect peace: Lord, have mercy.

God our loving Father,
grant wisdom to those who govern us,
compassion and courage
to those who work to defend human life,
and safety and care to every human being.
For you alone who formed us in our mother’s wombs,
and who call us home to heaven,
are God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Litany of the Sacred Heart
For Reparation of Sins Against Life [back to prayer list]

Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison
Christe Eleison, Christe Eleison
Kyrie Eleison, Kyrie Eleison

Christ, hear us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, our Father in heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united in substance to the Word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, sacred temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High One, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, wellspring of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke you, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, atonement for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with insults, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offenses, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim of sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in you, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in you, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the saints, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, spare us, Lord.
Graciously hear us. Lord, have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart
Make our hearts like to yours.

Let us pray:
God our loving Father,
grant wisdom to those who govern us,
compassion and courage
to those who work to defend human life,
and safety and care to every human being.
For you alone who formed us in our mothers’ wombs,
and who call us home to heaven,
are God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Novena to Three American Saints for Life [back to prayer list]

The USCCB created a novena (nine days of special prayers) for life. We like this one because it’s crafted to invoke the prayers of three different American saints (Saints Elizabeth Ann Seton, Frances Cabrini and John Neumann) whose prayers and works were animated by the sacredness of all human life. Check It Out

2017 Intentions | Apostleship of Prayer

prayers
Prayer for the Respect of Life | Catholic Online
Prayer for the Sanctity of Life | Catholic Tradition
Intercessory Prayers: Conception to Death | USCCB
Intercessory Prayers: End of Life | USCCB
Intercessory Prayers: Death Penalty | USCCB
Litany for Life | USCCB
Litany of the Sacred Heart | USCCB
A Novena to Three American Saints for Life | USCCB

actions
Find a Pregnancy Center | Pregnancy Decision Line
The Life App for iOS | The Sisters of Life with FOCUS
The Life App for Android | The Sisters of Life with FOCUS

further reading
To Live Each Day | USCCB
The Sanctity of Human Life from Conception to Natural Death | CNA
Brief Reflections on Euthanasia | Priests for Life
Intercessory Prayers for Life | USCCB
Respect for Human Life – Catechism of the Catholic Church | The Vatican
The Fifth Commandment In Brief – Catechism of the Catholic Church | The Vatican