Address to Italian Pro-Life Movement
The Holy Father met with the Italian Pro-Life Movement on November 6, 2015 and thanked them for their commitment to life “from conception to its natural end.” He spoke highly of the compassion that the movement shows for those who are in hard circumstances and in need of help.
Pope Francis highlighted the spiritual aspects of the movement’s work: “Yours is not only a social service, although rightful and noble. For Christ’s disciples, to help wounded human life means to go and encounter persons in need, to put oneself at their side, to take charge of their fragility and pain, so that they can rise again.” The pope spoke of the poor, unemployed, homeless, elderly and young people who can be seen represented in the Gospel by the man who fell into the hands of brigands on the road to Jericho. “On that road, which crosses the desert of life, in our time also there are so many wounded, because of today’s brigands, who strip them not only of their goods but also of their dignity.”
The pope thanked the pro-life movement in Italy for imitating the Good Samaritan, who has been seeking to care for that “man” for the last forty years. The Holy Father encouraged the movement, “Do not tire of working for the protection of the most vulnerable persons, who have the right to be born to life, as well as of all those that ask for a healthier and more fitting existence.” He pointed out in particular that, “there is need to work, at different levels and with perseverance, in the promotion and defense of the family, first resource of society, especially in reference to the gift of children and the affirmation of the dignity of woman.”
In conclusion, the pope noted that the work of the pro-life movement in Italy should be benefitted by the coming Holy Year of Mercy, and he entrusted their work to Mary, “Mother of the living.”