All dioceses in the United States observe the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children” on January 22 (or January 23 when the 22nd is on a Sunday). It is a day of prayer for the victims of abortion and the restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life for all persons.
What can we do as religious educators?
As religious educators of children of any age, this is an opportunity for prayer not politics.
Teachers of young children should focus on prayer for unborn babies, which is something even kids can understand at any age. The realities of abortion and laws surrounding issues of life should be handled in conversation with parents.
Teachers of teenagers, however, may decide to focus on prayers for the right to life if their students have become aware of the legality of abortion. These teens might also be preparing for participation in the January March for Life activities and an in-class prayer service could be very appropriate.
Either way, consider this day as an opportunity for prayer.
Here are some prayers and prayer service ideas to help your students participate in this important day:
Prayers for the Intercession of Pro-life Saints
I find stories and prayers work best for teaching about challenging topics. This day could be a good opportunity to share the stories of these pro-life saints and to turn to them in prayer.
Here are a few pro-life saint prayers you could use in class:
A Prayer to St. Gianna Molla
St. Gianna Molla, patron saint of the unborn, you healed mothers and children as a doctor and suffered greatly during your own pregnancy. Continue to look upon all expectant mothers and pray for the protection of unborn children. Amen.
A Prayer to St. Gerard Majella
St. Gerard Majella, patron saint of expectant mothers, your prayers of intercession led to miraculous healing of a mother and safe delivery of her child. Pray for the health and wellbeing of all expectant mothers and their children so that they may experience happy childbirths. Amen.
A Prayer to St. John Paul II
St. John Paul II, who proclaimed the Gospel of life to the whole world, pray for the leaders in government to seek the protection and care of pregnant mothers and the unborn children that they bear. Amen.
A Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Virgin of Guadalupe, who revealed herself to the people of the Americas as a pregnant mother, pray to your Son for the support and protection of all unborn children and their mothers. Amen.
Other Prayers for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
Here are some of the best class prayer resources I have found on the web:
9 Days for Life Prayers (USCCB Respect Life Website)
(Includes the 9 Days for Life Novena)
Pro-life Prayers and Devotions (USCCB)
(Includes blessings, holy hours, litanies, and meditations on the mysteries of the Rosary)
A Litany of Pro-life Saints (Catholic Link)
A Prayer for Life by Pope Saint John Paul II (The Word Among Us)