Here’s how to pray this year’s Novena for Life that starts on Jan. 12


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Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 12, 2023 / 08:00 am (CNA).

The California Catholic Conference and the Knights of Columbus in that state are inviting Catholics nationwide to join them in praying a Novena for Life to promote the sanctity of life.

The novena — a prayer said for nine consecutive days — begins on Thursday, Jan. 12, and concludes on Friday, Jan. 20, the date of the national March for Life in Washington, D.C.

“In our current situation, we choose to pray for the restoration of respect for the sanctity of all human life, which is the most urgent need of our day,” the novena’s introduction reads. “Our novena is a sustained form of prayer and an act of faith that addresses systemic evils such as legalized abortion, euthanasia, and all other attacks against human life and against the institution of the family in our society.”

The faithful can find the novena and instructions for how to recite it at Each day consists of a prayer intention, an intercession, a petition for virtue, a life program intention, a prayer offering, a deeper reflection, and a pro-life novena prayer.

The nine intentions — one for each day — are listed as: For the innocent unborn child in danger of abortion; for the restoration of legal protection to the unborn; for the welcoming of every human life; for the conversion of heart needed to end all abortion; for the strengthening of marriages and families; for clear scientific and moral education on the dignity of the human person; for an increase in respect for the sanctity of life in society; for the protection of the sick and vulnerable from euthanasia; and for the strengthening of couples who are struggling with finances and other challenges.

Along the way, the faithful are asked to pray for everyone from mothers considering abortion and health care workers who participate in abortion to children who are impacted by adoption or the foster care system.

On the ninth day, the novena concludes with St. John Paul II’s prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary found at the end of his 1995 pro-life encyclical Evangelium Vitae.

The California Knights of Columbus first began sponsoring the novena in 2021, before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a ruling that freed states to decide abortion policy. Since then, states like California have voted to protect abortion.

“Since the culture of death is fundamentally a spiritual reality, we recognize that only the power of God is strong enough to defeat it,” the novena’s introduction says. “We must do everything possible in a human sense to defend life and restore legal protection to the unborn, but we must never forget to depend entirely on the Lord and his mercy in overcoming the power of this evil.”

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