High Expectations for Rome March for Life 2013

“Extraordinary number” of participants from all over the world expected

Participants gather near the Colosseum for the 2012 March for Life in Rome.
Participants gather near the Colosseum for the 2012 March for Life in Rome. (photo: EP)

This year’s March for Life in Rome is already attracting “an extraordinary number” of participants from all over the world, according to the website Corrispondenza Romana, promising to make it one of Europe's largest pro-life rallies.

The Rome March for Life, just the second of its kind to be held in the Eternal City, will take place on May 12th. The route, which lasts about a mile, begins at the Colosseum at 9am, passes through downtown Rome, and ends at Castel Sant’Angelo near the Vatican in time for the Holy Father's Sunday Angelus address in St. Peter's Square.

Last year’s event “exceeded all expectations”, according to its organisers, attracting an estimated 15,000 people from around the world. One of the guest speakers was Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla, daughter of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, who was canonized in 2004 for choosing to give her own life over having Gianna Emanuela aborted.

In an article published in Corrispondenza Romana, Federico Catani lists the international pro-life organisations that have pledged to participate in this year’s march. Among them are a significant number of U.S. organisations:

American Life League, Americans United for Life, Human Life International, Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, Choose Life America, Catholics for Freedom of Religion, Moral Consensus Forum, CrossRoads-Pro-life Walks Across America, Alabama Physicians For Life, Family of the Americas Foundation, Life Site News, Precious Life Missions, Priests for Life, The Life Guardian Foundation, World Congress of Family News;

From France, there is Chosir la Vie, Chrétienté-Solidarité, Droit de Naître, Renaissance Catholique, SOS-Tout Petits;

From other countries these organisations have pledged to take part: the Australian Family Association and l’Accademia Letteraria Italo-Australiana Scrittori; the Belgian Fédération mondiale des médecins pour le respect de la vie humaine, Belgian March for Life, Fédération Pro-Europa Christiana, Katholiek lebenforum; and the German Aktion SOS Leben. The Polish groups Civitas Christiana and Piotr Skarga, the Portugese organization Alternativa Portugal, the Czech Association for Life and the Spanish Derecho a vivir-Barcelona e Sacerdotes por la Vida will also all be attending.

“The March for Life is thus becoming more integrated into all the pro-life events that take place throughout Europe and the United States,” Catani said.

Dr. Virginia Coda Nunziante, chair of the organizing committee for the March for Life, said: "We hope that the necessity of large public demonstrations in defense of life is becoming better understood. The March for Life wants above all to express our protest against the killing of innocents, which was legalized in Italy by Law 194 of May 22, 1978. Our rejection of abortion, and the law that legalized it, is total, without exception and without compromise. This is the main common denominator of those who will be in Rome on May 12. "

Many initiatives are also planned for the day before the march: a conference at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum at which the archbishops of Bologna and Trieste, Mons. Cardinal Carlo Caffarra and Giampaolo Crepaldi, will speak. Cardinal Raymond Burke will also lead a prayer vigil. As last year, the march will also include a number of other bishops and cardinals, some of whom have already confirmed their presence.