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The following is from “Day 2″ of the Nine Days Of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage to end abortion and heal those who are involved [prepared by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)]:

Let us pray with conviction and hope that in this Year of Faith we may be renewed in our fight to defend all human life so that abortion may no longer be a reality in our world.

Intercessions:

For the father whose child died with his cooperation and consent: that the Lord grant him the grace to repent and be reconciled with God.

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst women and blessed is the Fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst women and blessed is the Fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst women and blessed is the Fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Reflection:

Today’s memorial of St. Sebastian, the famous martyr and patron of athletes, lived his faith courageously in the midst of intense Roman persecution. St. Sebastian’s life reminds us that even in the midst of threats to the faith, a life lived and died in Christ is the ultimate witness — one that changes others.

The wedding feast at Cana, described in today’s Gospel, recounts the first miracle Christ performs, changing six stone jars of water into wine. At the request of His mother, Jesus takes up the ordinary substance of water and turns it into something extraordinary — choice wine — for the wedding guests.

Our life, too, is changed into something extraordinary when given over to Christ. We trust that He always gives us what we need.

Today we bring to Him our desire to uphold human life, and entrust everything to Him, through the intercession of His mother. We can be certain that He will bless all our efforts with success.

Acts of Reparation (Choose one or more to do today):

• When others are speaking uncharitably about someone else, change the conversation, leave, or offer a counter opinion that is kind and charitable.

• Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for mothers and fathers who’ve lost a child through abortion, asking that they find the courage to seek Reconciliation (through the Sacrament of Penance) and counseling through Project Rachel Ministry.

• Read about the life of a… 19th or 20th century saint. You might be surprised by how much you have in common with them.

Did You Know?

Four out of ten men whose partners had an abortion experienced chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, occurring on average 15 years after the abortion. Among these men, 88% had guilt, 77% felt anger, 64% anxiety and 68% isolation. The full article is called: The Hollow Men by Vincent M. Rue, Ph.D.

And remember, to recite the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary every day for the intentions: to end abortions, to increase religious vocations (especially to the Priesthood), for the conversion of poor sinners and for the strengthening of the ‘family unit.’

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