Holy Father's message of life

First slide

As dawn broke over the Capitol on the morning of Sept. 24, dozens of congressional guests waited patiently in chairs on the Upper Terrace to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis.

Amidst the friends and family of Congress members were two religious sisters dressed in blue and white. They were Sisters of Life from New York City and guests at the invitation of the papal nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Mariá Viganó. They eagerly awaited seeing the pope and hearing his message of life.

The sisters' order is devoted to protecting and enhancing the sacredness of human life and ministering to women suffering from the effects of having an abortion. They are on the front lines of the pro-life movement, operating houses for mothers in crisis pregnancies and conducting retreats all over the country. The order participates in the annual March for Life in Washington where their banner can be seen clearly in a sea of thousands on Constitution Avenue.

Earlier this year the sisters celebrated the pope's announcement of the Year of Mercy, during which priests will be allowed to forgive women who come to confession under the weight of abortion.

"Even though priests already have the authority to do this in America, it was an encouraging reminder to women," said Sisters of Life, sister Magdalene. "These women we serve are suffering and just need mercy."

Pope Francis encouraged America's lawmakers to "defend life at every stage of development." His defense of life was met with applause from the sisters and thousands of others on the terrace and West Lawn of the Capitol.

Buyers can be reached at abuyers@catholicherald.com.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015