Participants in a decades-old pro life initiative and a centuries-old pilgrimage in Poland received affirmation from Pope Benedict on the feast of the Mary's Assumption into heaven.
In an Aug. 15 telegram to mark the 25th anniversary of a prayer project known as the “Spiritual Adoption of the Unborn Child,” the Pope told pilgrims traveling from Krakow to Jasna Gora that their prayers are appreciated and are promoting a culture of life, Vatican Radio reported.
Although Catholics have been taking part in the pilgrimage honoring Our Lady of Czestochowa for over three centuries without interruption, it was not until 1987 that a group began interceding specifically for children who are at risk of being aborted.
Since then, the prayer project has spread to nations across the globe.
During a nine month period, participants “spiritually adopt” a child, vowing to pray a decade of the Rosary daily in the hope that the baby will be spared from abortion.
In addition to the Rosary, participants may include variations to their intercession, such as praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament or fasting for the child, as well as praying for the parents and any difficulties they may be facing.
The Pope said that he appreciates the efforts of those involved with “spiritual adoption” and believes their prayers are working to promote a culture of life in all areas that are contrary to the Gospel message.