Unborn Jesus

Witesses for Life

Quote from The Gospel of Life

by St John Paul II

"Death shall be no more" (Rev 21:4): the splendor of the Resurrection 105. The angel's Annunciation to Mary is framed by these reassuring words: "Do not be afraid, Mary" and "with God nothing will be impossible" (Lk 1:30, 37). The whole of the Virgin Mother's life is in fact pervaded by the certainty that God is near to her and that he accompanies her with his providential care. The same is true of the Church, which finds "a place prepared by God" (Rev 12:6) in the desert, the place of trial but also of the manifestation of God's love for his people (cf. Hos 2:16). Mary is a living word of comfort for the Church in her struggle against death. Showing us the Son, the Church assures us that in him the forces of death have already been defeated: "Death with life contended: combat strangely ended! Life's own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign."' The lamb who was slain is alive, bearing the marks of his passion in the splendor of the resurrection. He alone is master of all the events of history: he opens its "seals" (cf. Rev 5:1-10) and proclaims, in time and beyond, the power of life over death. In the "new Jerusalem," that new world towards which human history is traveling, "death shall be no more, neither shall there he mourning nor crying nor pain any More, for the former things have passed away" (Rev 21:4). And as we, the pilgrim people, the people of life and for life, make our way in confidence towards "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev 2 1:1) we look to her who is For us "a sign of sure hope and solace."'

Quotes from Incarnationis

Mysterium by St John Paul II

(BULL OF INDICTION OF THE GREAT JUBILEE OF THE YEAR 2000) "1. ...The birth of Jesus at Bethlehem is not an event which can be consigned to the past. The whole of human history in fact stands in reference to him: our own time and the future of the world are illumined by his presence. He is "the Living One" (Rev 1:18), "who is, who was and who is to come" (Rev 1:4). Before him every knee must bend, in the heavens, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim that he is Lord (cf. Phil 2:10-11). In the encounter with Christ, every man discovers the mystery of his own life.(1) Jesus is the genuine newness which surpasses all human expectations and such he remains for ever, from age to age. The Incarnation of the Son of God and the salvation which he has accomplished by his Death and Resurrection are therefore the true criterion for evaluating all that happens in time and every effort to make life more human. ..." "...14. The joy of the Jubilee would not be complete if our gaze did not turn to her who in full obedience to the Father gave birth to the Son of God in the flesh for our sake. For Mary "the time to give birth" came to pass in Bethlehem (Lk 2:6), and filled with the Spirit she brought forth the First-Born of the new creation. Called to be the Mother of God, from the day of the virginal conception Mary lived the fulness of her motherhood, crowning it on Calvary at the foot of the Cross. There, by the wondrous gift of Christ, she also became the Mother of the Church, and showed to everyone the way that leads to the Son. Woman of silence, given to listening, docile in the hands of the Father, the Virgin Mary is invoked as "blessed" by all generations, for she recognized the marvels accomplished in her by the Holy Spirit. The nations will never grow weary of invoking the Mother of mercy and will always find refuge under her protection. May she who with Jesus her son and Joseph her spouse went on pilgrimage to the holy Temple of God, guard the steps of all those who will be pilgrims in this Jubilee Year. And through the coming months may she deign to intercede intensely for the Christian people, so that abundant grace and mercy may be theirs, as they rejoice at the two thousand years since the birth of their Saviour. Let the praise of the Church rise to God the Father in the Holy Spirit for the gift of salvation in Christ the Lord, both now and for evermore. Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 29 November, the First Sunday of Advent, in the year of our Lord 1998, the twenty-first of my Pontificate. "

Quotes from To the Pontifical

Academy for Life, February 14,

1997, by St John Paul II

"Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen 1. I am pleased to extend my cordial greetings to you, dear Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who have gathered for your third general assembly. I especially thank the President, Prof. Juan de Dios Vial Correa, for the friendly words he has just addressed to me on behalf of you all. I know that some of you, ordinary members, are present for the first time, since you have only recently been appointed. Likewise the corresponding members, who are taking part in this meeting for the first time, also serve in the life of the Academy as a valuable link with society. I extend my welcome to all, receiving you as a distinguished community of intellectuals at the service of life. First of all I would like to express my satisfaction with the activity that the Academy has carried out in this short period since its foundation: I would like especially to stress the valuable works that have already been published as a commentary on the Encyclical Evangelium vitae, and the active collaboration offered to the various dicasteries for courses and study conventions on the contents of both the Encyclical and other pronouncements by the Magisterium in the delicate area of life. 2. The theme that You chose for this assembly--"Identity and Status of the Human Embryo"--with the approach of the 10th anniversary of the Instruction Donum vitae, published on 22 February 1987, is also in line with your commitment and today has a particular cultural and political relevance. In fact, it is first of all a question of reaffirming that "the human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception, and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human to life" (Donum vitae, I, 1). Such statements, solemnly restated in the Encyclical Evangelium vitae, are entrusted to the conscience of humanity and are increasingly accented even in the areas of scientific and philosophical research. Appropriately during these days you have tried to clarify further the misunderstandings in the modern cultural context stemming from preconceptions of a philosophical and epistemological nature which cast doubt on the very foundations of knowledge, especially in the field of moral values. In fact the truth about the human person must be freed from every possible exploitation, reductionism or ideology, in order to guarantee full and scrupulous respect for the dignity of every human being from the first moments of his existence. 3. How can we fail to recognize that our age is unfortunately witnessing an unprecedented and almost unimaginable massacre of innocent human beings, which many States have legally endorsed? How many times has the Church's voice, raised in defence of these human beings, gone unheard! And how many times, unfortunately, from other parts has what is an aberrant crime against the most defenceless of human beings been presented as a right and sign of civilization! But the historic and pressing moment has come to take a decisive step for civilization and the authentic welfare of peoples: the necessary step to reclaim the full human dignity and the right to life of every human being from the first instant of life and throughout the whole prenatal stage. This objective, to restore human dignity to prenatal life, demands a joint and unbiased effort of interdisciplinary reflection, together with an indispensable renewal of law and politics. When this journey has begun, it will mark the beginning of a new stage of civilization for future humanity, the humanity of the third millennium. 4. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is quite clear how important is the responsibility of intellectuals in their task of conducting research in this field. It is a matter of restoring legal protection to specific areas of human existence, first and foremost that of prenatal life. On this restoration, which is the victory of truth, the moral good and rights, depends the success of the defense of human life in its other more fragile moments such as its final phase illness and handicap. Nor should it be forgotten that the preservation of peace and even the protection of the environment presuppose by logical coherence the respect and defence of life from the very first moment until its natural end. 5. The Pontifical Academy for Life, which I sincerely thank for the service it is rendering to life, has the duty of contributing to a deeper awareness of the value of this basic good, especially through dialogue with experts in the biomedical, legal and moral sciences. To achieve this goal, the work of your study and research community will have to rely on an intense life ad intra, characterized by exchange and multidisciplinary scholarly collaboration. It will thus be able to offer ad extra, in the world of culture and society, beneficial encouragement and worthwhile contributions for an authentic renewal of society. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the generous beginning of your activity reassures us in this hope. I wish here to encourage you to continue on the path you have taken, in memory of the praiseworthy insight of your first President, Prof. Lejeune, that valiant and tireless defender of human life. The Church today feels the historical need to protect life for the good of man and of civilization. I am convinced that future generations will be grateful to her for having so firmly opposed the many manifestations of the culture of death and every form of disregard for human life. May God bless your every effort and may the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, make your research fruitful. In testimony to the interest with which I follow your activity, I willingly impart a special Apostolic Blessing to you all."

From the Pope’s Writings

Get inspired by the teachings of St John Paul II about the sanctity of life. On many occasions Pope St John Paul II delivered his message of life to the people and world leaders of his time. The nations that defend life are nations blessed by God.

Prayer from The Gospel of Life by St

John Paul II

O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life: Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life. Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on March 25, (The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1995, the seventeenth of my Pontificate.

Quotes from Abide with us,

Immaculate Mother by St John Paul II

(Pope John Paul II, December 8, 1997) "1.We greet you, Daughter of God the Father! We greet you, Mother of the Son of God! We greet you, spouse of the Holy Spirit! We greet you, dwelling place of the Most Holy Trinity! With this greeting we come before you on your feast day with the trust of children, and we pause, according to tradition, at the foot of this historic column for our yearly gathering in Piazza di Spagna. From here, beloved and venerated Mother of all, you watch over the city of Rome. 2. Abide with us, Immaculate Mother, in the heart of our preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. We beseech you, watch especially over the triduum, formed of the last three years of the second millennium, 1997. 1998. 1999, years dedicated to contemplation of the Trinitarian mystery of God. We would like this eventful century of ours and the second Christian millennium to close with the seal of the Trinity. It is in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit that we begin our daily work and prayer. It is turning again to the heavenly Father that we end our activities by praying, "Through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit." Thus, in the sign of the Trinitarian mystery, the Church of Rome united with believers throughout the world, approaches in prayer the end of the 20th century, to enter the third millennium with a renewed heart. 3. We greet you, Daughter of God the Father! We greet you, Mother of the Son of God! We greet you, Spouse of the Holy Spirit! We greet you, dwelling place of the Most Holy Trinity! This greeting highlights how deeply you are imbued with God's own life, with his profound and infallible mystery. You have been totally imbued with this mystery from the first moment of your conception. You are full of grace, you are immaculate! 4. We greet you, Immaculate Mother of God. Accept our prayer and, as Mother, deign to bring the church in Rome and throughout the world into that fullness of time towards which the universe has been advancing since the day your divine Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, came into the world. He is the Beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the King of ages, the First-born of all creation, the First and the Last. In him all is definitively fulfilled; in him, every reality grows to the full stature desired by God in his mysterious plan of love. 5. We greet you, Virgin most prudent! We greet you, Mother most clement! Pray for us, intercede for us, Immaculate Virgin, our merciful and power Mother, Mary!"

Quotes from Address at the Catholic

University of the Sacred Heart by St

John Paul II

"Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Brothers and Sisters. 1. Once again this year the Catholic University's Study and Research Centre for Natural Fertility Regulation is offering a course to train teachers in the natural methods. This meeting is particularly significant, because it is being held during the 20th year of this centre's activity, an event recently celebrated with a congress of international importance significantly entitled: "At the Sources of Life." On this occasion I am pleased to renew my sentiments of appreciation and esteem for the work you have done, which is better and better understood by the ecclesial community and by medical and scientific circles. 2. The scientific validity of the methods and their educational effectiveness makes them increasingly appreciated for the human values that they presuppose and strengthen, when they are taught and presented in a suitable anthropological and ethical context, according to the wise directive expressed in Paul VI's Encyclical Humanae vitae and so many times explained in subsequent documents of the Magisterium. Their humanizing character is all the more obvious from the fact that using the natural methods requires and strengthens the harmony of the married couple, it helps and confirms the rediscovery of the marvellous gift of parenthood, it involves respect for nature and demands the responsibility of the individuals. According to many authoritative opinions, they also foster more completely that human ecology which is the harmony between the demands of nature and personal behaviour. At the global level this choice supports the process of freedom and emancipation of women and peoples from unjust family planning programmes which bring in their sad wake the various forms of contraception, abortion and sterilization. 3. But more immediately, your work each day is valuable and sought after in parish communities and in diocesan centres for the pastoral care of the family and life. In this regard, I wrote in the Encyclical Evangelium vitae that "an honest appraisal of their effectiveness should dispel certain prejudices which are still widely held, and should convince married couples, as well as health-care and social workers, of the importance of proper training in this area. The Church is grateful to those who, with personal sacrifice and often unacknowledged dedication, devote themselves to the study and spread of these methods, as well as to the promotion of education in the moral values which they presuppose" (n. 97). The moment has come for every parish and every structure of consultation and assistance to the family and to the defence of life to have personnel available who can teach married cou ples how to use the natural methods. For this reason I particularly recommend that Bishops, parish priests and those responsible for pastoral care welcome and promote this valuable service. With this hope, as I ask the Lord to constantly accompany your untiring work, I sincerely bless you and with you the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, whose Faculty of Medicine and Surgery promotes and supports your work, which is worthy of the highest esteem and well-suited to the tasks and role of a Catholic university. "
Unborn Jesus
The Word was made flesh . . .  . . . and dwelt among us!
Unborn Jesus
Unborn Jesus

Witesses for Life

Quote from The Gospel of

Life by St John Paul II

"Death shall be no more" (Rev 21:4): the splendor of the Resurrection 105. The angel's Annunciation to Mary is framed by these reassuring words: "Do not be afraid, Mary" and "with God nothing will be impossible" (Lk 1:30, 37). The whole of the Virgin Mother's life is in fact pervaded by the certainty that God is near to her and that he accompanies her with his providential care. The same is true of the Church, which finds "a place prepared by God" (Rev 12:6) in the desert, the place of trial but also of the manifestation of God's love for his people (cf. Hos 2:16). Mary is a living word of comfort for the Church in her struggle against death. Showing us the Son, the Church assures us that in him the forces of death have already been defeated: "Death with life contended: combat strangely ended! Life's own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign."' The lamb who was slain is alive, bearing the marks of his passion in the splendor of the resurrection. He alone is master of all the events of history: he opens its "seals" (cf. Rev 5:1-10) and proclaims, in time and beyond, the power of life over death. In the "new Jerusalem," that new world towards which human history is traveling, "death shall be no more, neither shall there he mourning nor crying nor pain any More, for the former things have passed away" (Rev 21:4). And as we, the pilgrim people, the people of life and for life, make our way in confidence towards "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev 2 1:1) we look to her who is For us "a sign of sure hope and solace."'

Quotes from Incarnationis

Mysterium by St John Paul

II

(BULL OF INDICTION OF THE GREAT JUBILEE OF THE YEAR 2000) "1. ...The birth of Jesus at Bethlehem is not an event which can be consigned to the past. The whole of human history in fact stands in reference to him: our own time and the future of the world are illumined by his presence. He is "the Living One" (Rev 1:18), "who is, who was and who is to come" (Rev 1:4). Before him every knee must bend, in the heavens, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim that he is Lord (cf. Phil 2:10-11). In the encounter with Christ, every man discovers the mystery of his own life.(1) Jesus is the genuine newness which surpasses all human expectations and such he remains for ever, from age to age. The Incarnation of the Son of God and the salvation which he has accomplished by his Death and Resurrection are therefore the true criterion for evaluating all that happens in time and every effort to make life more human. ..." "...14. The joy of the Jubilee would not be complete if our gaze did not turn to her who in full obedience to the Father gave birth to the Son of God in the flesh for our sake. For Mary "the time to give birth" came to pass in Bethlehem (Lk 2:6), and filled with the Spirit she brought forth the First-Born of the new creation. Called to be the Mother of God, from the day of the virginal conception Mary lived the fulness of her motherhood, crowning it on Calvary at the foot of the Cross. There, by the wondrous gift of Christ, she also became the Mother of the Church, and showed to everyone the way that leads to the Son. Woman of silence, given to listening, docile in the hands of the Father, the Virgin Mary is invoked as "blessed" by all generations, for she recognized the marvels accomplished in her by the Holy Spirit. The nations will never grow weary of invoking the Mother of mercy and will always find refuge under her protection. May she who with Jesus her son and Joseph her spouse went on pilgrimage to the holy Temple of God, guard the steps of all those who will be pilgrims in this Jubilee Year. And through the coming months may she deign to intercede intensely for the Christian people, so that abundant grace and mercy may be theirs, as they rejoice at the two thousand years since the birth of their Saviour. Let the praise of the Church rise to God the Father in the Holy Spirit for the gift of salvation in Christ the Lord, both now and for evermore. Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 29 November, the First Sunday of Advent, in the year of our Lord 1998, the twenty-first of my Pontificate. "

Quotes from To the

Pontifical Academy for Life,

February 14, 1997, by St

John Paul II

"Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen 1. I am pleased to extend my cordial greetings to you, dear Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who have gathered for your third general assembly. I especially thank the President, Prof. Juan de Dios Vial Correa, for the friendly words he has just addressed to me on behalf of you all. I know that some of you, ordinary members, are present for the first time, since you have only recently been appointed. Likewise the corresponding members, who are taking part in this meeting for the first time, also serve in the life of the Academy as a valuable link with society. I extend my welcome to all, receiving you as a distinguished community of intellectuals at the service of life. First of all I would like to express my satisfaction with the activity that the Academy has carried out in this short period since its foundation: I would like especially to stress the valuable works that have already been published as a commentary on the Encyclical Evangelium vitae, and the active collaboration offered to the various dicasteries for courses and study conventions on the contents of both the Encyclical and other pronouncements by the Magisterium in the delicate area of life. 2. The theme that You chose for this assembly-- "Identity and Status of the Human Embryo"--with the approach of the 10th anniversary of the Instruction Donum vitae, published on 22 February 1987, is also in line with your commitment and today has a particular cultural and political relevance. In fact, it is first of all a question of reaffirming that "the human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception, and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human to life" (Donum vitae, I, 1). Such statements, solemnly restated in the Encyclical Evangelium vitae, are entrusted to the conscience of humanity and are increasingly accented even in the areas of scientific and philosophical research. Appropriately during these days you have tried to clarify further the misunderstandings in the modern cultural context stemming from preconceptions of a philosophical and epistemological nature which cast doubt on the very foundations of knowledge, especially in the field of moral values. In fact the truth about the human person must be freed from every possible exploitation, reductionism or ideology, in order to guarantee full and scrupulous respect for the dignity of every human being from the first moments of his existence. 3. How can we fail to recognize that our age is unfortunately witnessing an unprecedented and almost unimaginable massacre of innocent human beings, which many States have legally endorsed? How many times has the Church's voice, raised in defence of these human beings, gone unheard! And how many times, unfortunately, from other parts has what is an aberrant crime against the most defenceless of human beings been presented as a right and sign of civilization! But the historic and pressing moment has come to take a decisive step for civilization and the authentic welfare of peoples: the necessary step to reclaim the full human dignity and the right to life of every human being from the first instant of life and throughout the whole prenatal stage. This objective, to restore human dignity to prenatal life, demands a joint and unbiased effort of interdisciplinary reflection, together with an indispensable renewal of law and politics. When this journey has begun, it will mark the beginning of a new stage of civilization for future humanity, the humanity of the third millennium. 4. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is quite clear how important is the responsibility of intellectuals in their task of conducting research in this field. It is a matter of restoring legal protection to specific areas of human existence, first and foremost that of prenatal life. On this restoration, which is the victory of truth, the moral good and rights, depends the success of the defense of human life in its other more fragile moments such as its final phase illness and handicap. Nor should it be forgotten that the preservation of peace and even the protection of the environment presuppose by logical coherence the respect and defence of life from the very first moment until its natural end. 5. The Pontifical Academy for Life, which I sincerely thank for the service it is rendering to life, has the duty of contributing to a deeper awareness of the value of this basic good, especially through dialogue with experts in the biomedical, legal and moral sciences. To achieve this goal, the work of your study and research community will have to rely on an intense life ad intra, characterized by exchange and multidisciplinary scholarly collaboration. It will thus be able to offer ad extra, in the world of culture and society, beneficial encouragement and worthwhile contributions for an authentic renewal of society. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the generous beginning of your activity reassures us in this hope. I wish here to encourage you to continue on the path you have taken, in memory of the praiseworthy insight of your first President, Prof. Lejeune, that valiant and tireless defender of human life. The Church today feels the historical need to protect life for the good of man and of civilization. I am convinced that future generations will be grateful to her for having so firmly opposed the many manifestations of the culture of death and every form of disregard for human life. May God bless your every effort and may the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, make your research fruitful. In testimony to the interest with which I follow your activity, I willingly impart a special Apostolic Blessing to you all."

From the Pope’s Writings

Get inspired by the teachings of St John Paul II about the sanctity of life. On many occasions Pope St John Paul II delivered his message of life to the people and world leaders of his time. The nations that defend life are nations blessed by God.

Prayer from The Gospel of

Life by St John Paul II

O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life: Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life. Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on March 25, (The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1995, the seventeenth of my Pontificate.

Quotes from Abide with us,

Immaculate Mother by St

John Paul II

(Pope John Paul II, December 8, 1997) "1.We greet you, Daughter of God the Father! We greet you, Mother of the Son of God! We greet you, spouse of the Holy Spirit! We greet you, dwelling place of the Most Holy Trinity! With this greeting we come before you on your feast day with the trust of children, and we pause, according to tradition, at the foot of this historic column for our yearly gathering in Piazza di Spagna. From here, beloved and venerated Mother of all, you watch over the city of Rome. 2. Abide with us, Immaculate Mother, in the heart of our preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. We beseech you, watch especially over the triduum, formed of the last three years of the second millennium, 1997. 1998. 1999, years dedicated to contemplation of the Trinitarian mystery of God. We would like this eventful century of ours and the second Christian millennium to close with the seal of the Trinity. It is in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit that we begin our daily work and prayer. It is turning again to the heavenly Father that we end our activities by praying, "Through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit." Thus, in the sign of the Trinitarian mystery, the Church of Rome united with believers throughout the world, approaches in prayer the end of the 20th century, to enter the third millennium with a renewed heart. 3. We greet you, Daughter of God the Father! We greet you, Mother of the Son of God! We greet you, Spouse of the Holy Spirit! We greet you, dwelling place of the Most Holy Trinity! This greeting highlights how deeply you are imbued with God's own life, with his profound and infallible mystery. You have been totally imbued with this mystery from the first moment of your conception. You are full of grace, you are immaculate! 4. We greet you, Immaculate Mother of God. Accept our prayer and, as Mother, deign to bring the church in Rome and throughout the world into that fullness of time towards which the universe has been advancing since the day your divine Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, came into the world. He is the Beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the King of ages, the First-born of all creation, the First and the Last. In him all is definitively fulfilled; in him, every reality grows to the full stature desired by God in his mysterious plan of love. 5. We greet you, Virgin most prudent! We greet you, Mother most clement! Pray for us, intercede for us, Immaculate Virgin, our merciful and power Mother, Mary!"

Quotes from Address at

the Catholic University of

the Sacred Heart by St John

Paul II

"Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Brothers and Sisters. 1. Once again this year the Catholic University's Study and Research Centre for Natural Fertility Regulation is offering a course to train teachers in the natural methods. This meeting is particularly significant, because it is being held during the 20th year of this centre's activity, an event recently celebrated with a congress of international importance significantly entitled: "At the Sources of Life." On this occasion I am pleased to renew my sentiments of appreciation and esteem for the work you have done, which is better and better understood by the ecclesial community and by medical and scientific circles. 2. The scientific validity of the methods and their educational effectiveness makes them increasingly appreciated for the human values that they presuppose and strengthen, when they are taught and presented in a suitable anthropological and ethical context, according to the wise directive expressed in Paul VI's Encyclical Humanae vitae and so many times explained in subsequent documents of the Magisterium. Their humanizing character is all the more obvious from the fact that using the natural methods requires and strengthens the harmony of the married couple, it helps and confirms the rediscovery of the marvellous gift of parenthood, it involves respect for nature and demands the responsibility of the individuals. According to many authoritative opinions, they also foster more completely that human ecology which is the harmony between the demands of nature and personal behaviour. At the global level this choice supports the process of freedom and emancipation of women and peoples from unjust family planning programmes which bring in their sad wake the various forms of contraception, abortion and sterilization. 3. But more immediately, your work each day is valuable and sought after in parish communities and in diocesan centres for the pastoral care of the family and life. In this regard, I wrote in the Encyclical Evangelium vitae that "an honest appraisal of their effectiveness should dispel certain prejudices which are still widely held, and should convince married couples, as well as health-care and social workers, of the importance of proper training in this area. The Church is grateful to those who, with personal sacrifice and often unacknowledged dedication, devote themselves to the study and spread of these methods, as well as to the promotion of education in the moral values which they presuppose" (n. 97). The moment has come for every parish and every structure of consultation and assistance to the family and to the defence of life to have personnel available who can teach married cou ples how to use the natural methods. For this reason I particularly recommend that Bishops, parish priests and those responsible for pastoral care welcome and promote this valuable service. With this hope, as I ask the Lord to constantly accompany your untiring work, I sincerely bless you and with you the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, whose Faculty of Medicine and Surgery promotes and supports your work, which is worthy of the highest esteem and well-suited to the tasks and role of a Catholic university. "
The Word was made flesh . . .  . . . and dwelt among us!