Thousands of people took part in Italy’s sixth annual March for Life on May 15, which began at the famous Rome landmark the Bocca della Verita and ended in St. Peter’s Square, in time for Pope Francis’ Regina Caeli address.

At the end of his address, the Holy Father greeted the marchers who came from 26 countries and probably numbered around 6,000. 

“I greet the participants in the March for Life,” the Holy Father said in his round of greetings following the traditional prayer of Marian devotion at Eastertide. 

Although the vast majority of those participating were Catholic, the event is not officially aligned with the Church or any other religious institution. Each year, the organizers invite all people, groups and organizations dedicated to the pro-life cause to participate.

The march, themed “For Life: Without Compromise,” passed the Roman ruin of Teatro Marcello, continued through a side street bordering Piazza Venezia, entered Largo Argentina and passed along Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II, before reaching Via della Conciliazione and St. Peter’s Square.