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Draw near to new forms of poverty

· The Pope's message to Catholics in the U.K. And Ireland ·

“Combat the culture of death”, by protecting and loving life from its beginning until its natural end. With this exhortation, Pope Francis addressed the Catholics of the United Kingdom and Ireland who on Sunday, 27 July, are celebrating their annual Day for Life.

In a message signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, the Pontiff asked the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish communities, and young people in particular, to work together “to ensure adequate legal protection for the fundamental human right to life”. And to do so, he clarified, referring to the Evangelii gaudium, it is essential to seek “to bring the merciful love of Christ as a life-giving balm” wherever “those troubling ‘new forms of poverty and vulnerability’ are increasingly evident in contemporary society”.

The Bishops of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have also disseminated a message inviting the faithful to follow in Pope Francis’ footsteps and calling them to commit to caring for, supporting and protecting life in all of its phases in conditions.

Over half a million of postcards were sent to parishes and chaplaincies in preparation for the Day for Life, this year’s theme for which is: #livelife Protect and Cherish Life from its beginning to its natural end. The hashtag refers to the message sent via Twitter and social networks, which indicate that proceeds from the Day for Life will be donated to support local Church-related institutions involved in the promotion and defence of life. Specific materials for reflection and liturgical aids for the day’s celebration are also available online: among these, a prayer to the Virgin Mary as the “mother of love”.

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