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St. John Paul II waves to the crowd at Yankee Stadium during his first visit to the United States.

St. John Paul II waves to the crowd at Yankee Stadium during his first visit to the United States in October 1979.


St. John Paul II fearlessly defended the dignity of the human person during his papacy — he spoke out on behalf of the unborn and the elderly, he challenged unjust practices saddled upon workers and entire nations. He constantly preached a Gospel of Life (quite literally in his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae) based on a foundational love of God, family and neighbor.

At Catholic Charities, we follow his example, advocating his culture of life for the unborn, the elderly and everyone in between. We see each client as a child of God and worthy of dignity and compassion.

Today, on his feast day, we ask his intercessions for a greater respect for life throughout our country and our world!

O Mary, bright dawn of the new world,

Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life

Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time.

Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.

St. John Paul II, Pray For Us!

Taken from Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical, “The Gospel of Life” (