Each October the Church in the United States celebrates Respect Life Month, and the first Sunday of October is observed as Respect Life Sunday. At Masses that day, thousands of parishes across the country begin a year-long educational and prayer campaign in support of life.
As Catholics, we are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the beginning of life to its end, and at every point in between. During the month of October, the Church asks us to reflect more deeply on the dignity of every human life.
A Prayer to St. Joseph,
Defender of Life
Dearest St. Joseph,
at the word of an angel,
you lovingly took Mary into your home.
As God’s humble servant, you guided
the Holy Family on the road to Bethlehem,
welcomed Jesus as your own son
in the shelter of a manger,
and fled far from your homeland
for the safety of both Mother and Child.
We praise God that as their faithful protector,
you never hesitated to sacrifice
for those entrusted to you.
May your example inspire us also
to welcome, cherish, and safeguard
God’s most precious gift of life.
Help us to faithfully commit ourselves
to the service and defense of human life
—especially where it is
vulnerable or threatened.
Obtain for us the grace
to do the will of God in all things.
Prayer taken from the Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, Revised Edition (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2007), 365.
Copyright © 2007, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.