Catholic News Service photo
Kaleb Owen, 22 months old, sits on mother Rachel Owen's lap and plays with her rosary while she prays during a pro-life youth rally and Mass at the Verizon Center in Washington Jan. 22. Thousands of young people gathered at the arena to rally and pray b efore taking part in the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation.
Catholic News Service photo
Kaleb Owen, 22 months old, sits on mother Rachel Owen's lap and plays with her rosary while she prays during a pro-life youth rally and Mass at the Verizon Center in Washington Jan. 22. Thousands of young people gathered at the arena to rally and pray b efore taking part in the annual March for Life, which this year marked the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis called on all Catholics to welcome, serve and respect life, whether still unborn or approaching its natural end.

He asked that everyone, each in his or her own "particular role and sphere, feel called to love and serve life, to welcome it, respect it and promote it, especially when it is fragile and needs attention and care, from the mother's womb to its end on this earth."

The pope's remarks came after reciting the Sunday Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter's Square Feb. 2, which was designated in Italy as the Day for Life.

The pope encouraged all associations and movements involved in "the defense and promotion of life" to continue their work.

He also quoted a statement by Italian bishops that "every child has the face of the Lord, lover of life, a gift for families and society."

He thanked those in the Diocese of Rome who organized the annual Day for Life celebration, as well as university professors who organized seminars and conferences on "current difficulties linked to childbirth."