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Joining Pope Benedict in praying of all nascent human life

The Holy Father will hold a prayer vigil for nascent human life on 27 November, the evening before the First Sunday of Advent, at St. Peter's Basilica in conjunction with Vespers for the Start of Advent.

"The season of preparation for Christmas is an appropriate time for invoking divine protection over every human being called into existence and for thanking God for the gift of life we received from our parents," the Pope said.

He will pray for the unborn and their parents, for an end to abortion and research that destroys embryos, for recognition of the dignity of every human life, for the overturning of laws that permit the destruction of innocent lives, and for the healing of those who have acted against innocent human life.

Parishioners are encouraged to join in this vigil by reciting the following prayer:

O God, our Creator, all life is in your hands from conception until death.

Help us to cherish our children and to reverence the awesome privilege of our share in creation.

May all people live and die in dignity and love.

Bless all those who defend the rights of the unborn, the handicapped and the aged.

Enlighten and be merciful toward those who fail to love, and give them peace.

Let freedom be tempered by responsibility, integrity and morality. 

We ask this through Christ the Lord of Life, Amen.

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