National Prayer Beakfast, Washington D.C, February 3, 1994
Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the
children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people
are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United
States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not
concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of
their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace
today - abortion which brings people to such blindness.
And for this I appeal in India and I appeal everywhere - "Let us bring the
child back." The child is God’s gift to the family. Each child is created in
the special image and likeness of God for greater things – to love and to be
loved. In this year of the family we must bring the child back to the center
of our care and concern. This is the only way that our world can survive because
our children are the only hope for the future. As older people are called to God,
only their children can take their places.
But what does God say to us? He says: "Even if a mother could forget her child,
I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand."
We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in
the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved,
not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us....
Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child.
I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a
married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child....
I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural
The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception.
In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife
is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys
the gift of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the
attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self,
as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception,
abortion follows very easily.
I also know that there are great problems in the world - that many spouses do not
love each other enough to practice natural family planning. We cannot solve all
the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all,
and that is to destroy love. And this is what happens when we tell people to
practice contraception and abortion.
This icon of the Mother of God is called "The Helper in
Childbirth". The first prototypes of this icon appeared in
Western Russia, in the early 19th century. It was made for a
very practical and urgent need - the difficulties in conceiving
and giving birth.
A variation of the ancient and famous icon of Our Lady of the Sign, this
icon differs by showing the Mother of God folding her hands in prayer over
her heart, instead of holding them outstretched to the sides. Under the
protective arch of her hands, we can see the newly conceived Christ Child,
emanating from inside her womb in an almond shaped-halo of light. To show He
is the "Logos", or Word of God incarnate, He holds a small white scroll. She
is filled and radiant with light from inside.
Originally, in a time when too many women died in childbirth, midwives carried
this icon to help alleviate the pains and dangers of this life-giving process.
Because of the practical purpose of this icon, it belonged more to the life of
lay people and popular piety than the public, liturgical life of the Church. It
would have been unusual to find it venerated in a church, or depicted on a
large panel, since it needed to be small enough to carry among the other urgent,
portable tools of a midwife’s work.
This icon is a prayer, from one mother to another: "Mother of God, you know my
anxiety. Help me in this time of danger and happiness". It is an icon of
remarkable empathy, from one Birth-Giver to another birth-giver. Yet an icon
cannot be closed in its meaning and use; it must be open to everyone at all
times, in all circumstances, as the Mother of God herself is open to us in all
our needs. It is not an icon only for women in labor.
Every pregnancy is a miracle that fills us with joy, awe and dread at the same
time. Surely the Mother of God will help us in this need.
We can pray for the difficulty in conceiving; she certainly understands
miraculous conceptions, as did her own mother, St. Anne.
We can pray to her in the difficulty in carrying a child to term, and to safeguard
us in the all the possible complications; imagine how she prayed, pregnant and
riding on a donkey, only to give birth in a stable.
We can pray in front of it in joy and thanksgiving for her protection and guidance
in helping us bear and raise children.
We can pray in front of it in the pain of the loss of a child, as the Mother of
God herself knew the death of her only Child.
But what use is this icon of Divine Maternity to the single person, or the
celibate? Despite her miraculous conceiving, she still remains a virgin; one
Orthodox hymn calls her the "unwedded bride".
We can all stand in front of her, and pray in thanksgiving for being born; all
of us have experienced the mystery of our own conception and birth. We all
have parents, and all are children.
Through her prayers, the Mother of God stands beside us as our midwife and model.
In all ways, through our own human will and the grace of God, we all are expected
to give birth to Christ into the world. St. Teresa of Avila reminds us: now we
must be His hands, to bless and heal.
THE HAIL MARY PRAYER
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among 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
THE SAINT MICHAEL PRAYER
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the
wickedness and snares of devil.
Repress him, O God,
we humbly pray; and do thou,
O Prince of the Heavenly Host
- by the Divine Power of God
- cast down into hell, satan
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl throughout the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen
PRAYER FOR THE
Heavenly Father, in Your
for us, protect against the
wickedness of the devil,
those helpless little ones to
whom You have given the
gift of life.
Touch with pity the hearts of
those women pregnant in our
world today who are not
thinking of motherhood.
Help them to see that the child
they carry is made in Your
image - as well as theirs -
made for eternal life.
Dispel their fear and selfishness
and give them couragageous
hearts to love their babies,
birth and take care of them.
Help them to make the decision to
either raise the baby themselves
or give the
baby up for adoption.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
Your Son, Our Lord, Who lives
and reigns with You and the Holy
Spirit, one God, forever and ever,
"On October 28, 2011 in Bardejov Nova Ves, a celebration was held for
the dedication of the Monument of the Unborn Children, the work of the young
sculptor Martin Hudácek from Banska Bystrica (Slovakia). This ceremony was
blessed with the presence of the Slovakian Minister of Health, Dr. Ivan Uhliarik, MD.
The idea to build a memorial for all unborn children came from the community of
young women, mothers who were deeply aware of the value of every human life and
the damage that is inflicted - not only a waste of potential of the unborn children,
but also the permanent intellectual (and often physical) damage to the health of
every woman who chooses not to birth her child.
The monument expresses sorrow and regret not only by mothers but also the
forgiveness and love by the unborn child to their mothers."
Mother of God of the Sign icon
January 19-25, 2014 - In Honor of the Unborn Children - Carved in the Hand of God
This site is dedicated to Our Lord Jesus Christ
in the Most Holy Virgin Mary,
for the Glory of God
The Apostolic Blessing by the Holy See in Rome is bestowed (October 28, 2013)
Omnia ad majoren Dei Gloriam!
(All for the greater glory of God)
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