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Evangelium Vitae: An affirmation of life

(Vatican Radio) The roar of over 100 thousand Harley Davidsons have enveloped the Vatican Saturday, as bikers marked the 110th anniversary of the US motors founding. 1,400 bikes with their riders will be blessed by Pope Francis at the Sunday Angelus.

However the signatory engine roll is soon to be replaced by a very different noise: silent prayer. Thousands of men, women and children are about kick start 24 hours of a very different kind of celebration. Evangelium Vitae Day, with Pope Francis.

The day which is being sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, is aimed at offering a communal witness to the sacred value of all human life.The day is also offering the faithful the chance to further study and discuss the “Evangelium Vitae” document written by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1995. As part of the weekend of events, there is an Educational Conference entitled “The Gospel of Life and the New Evangelization” which is taking place on Saturday 15 June in Rome.

One of the keynote speakers is Robert Royal, author and the President of the Faith and Reason Institute, and Graduate Dean at the Catholic Distance University. Speaking to Lydia O’Kane about his reasons for attending this Evangelium Vitae Day he says, for him it is important to be here for this “affirmation of life” during the Year of Faith.

Dr Royal also says that the document of the same name has a message for everyone. “What it says is that if you don’t respect life at all stages, you put yourself in a position that can become very perilous”.

Other events over the course of the weekend include a silent, candle-lit procession which will be held along Via della Conciliazione in order to call attention to the theme of human life and its value on Saturday evening at 8.30pm.

On Sunday morning at 10:30, Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Square. Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s full interview with Robert Royal RealAudioMP3


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