Have you heard of the Forty Days for Life Campaign? It is prayer and fasting, constant vigil, and community outreach in the hope of ending abortion. It has taken place in over 21 different countries. People take hour-long shifts walking up and down sidewalks in front of buildings where abortions take place.
Recently, my grandmother asked me if I wanted to go to the Forty Days for Life Campaign March in Escanaba.
I agreed to go, and we left early on a Tuesday morning. When we got there, a tent was set up with signs that read things like, "The life of a child is precious beyond belief."
My grandmother and I walked up and down the sidewalk in front of St. Anthony's Church for two hours, praying and waving our signs.
St. Anthony's Church is adjacent to the Belin Health Clinic, so we were able to get the attention of the patients there. Many people waved and smiled their encouragement.
Even though the air was frosty, our shift flew by, and soon a woman came to take the next vigil hour.
We couldn't believe that two hours had already passed. We found out that 42 abortion clinics have closed since the 40 Days for Life Campaign began. Through the most recent 40 days of campaigning, 476 babies were saved from abortion. Over the course of all the campaigning, 8,209 mothers elected to save the lives of their little ones.
That's making a difference.
On the drive back to Iron Mountain, I told my grandmother about a woman who gave her very life to save her child.
In 1961, Dr. Gianna Beretta Molla had found that she was pregnant with her fourth child and was happily preparing to raise her in their hometown of Mesero, Italy.
Then she found that there were complications and she had to abort the baby or give her own life. She opted to do the latter and in late April of 1962, Gianna Beretta Molla died just after giving birth to her fourth child.
Just before her death she had named her daughter Emmanuela, and her sister and husband raised her children to be wonderful people.
In 1997, at the Second World Day of the Family in Brazil, Emmanuela publicly prayed, "Thank you, Mother. Thank you for giving me life twice: in conception and when you permitted me to be born, deciding for my life. Intercede so that all mothers and families may always come to you with confidence."
Her words touched the hearts of many and the sacrifice made by Gianna was great. Pope John Paul II, who had been present at the Second World Day of the Family and listened to her prayer, canonized St. Gianna in 2004. She is often referred to as the Apostle of Life. Her story has inspired many people to choose life for their little ones, and I imagine numerous children have been saved.
So let's continue to give support to mothers and their babies, and keep praying for them and helping them in any way possible.
For more information on the Forty Days for Life Campaign, you can visit their website at www.40daysforlife.com. This world can change to be a better place, if we have the courage to change it.
Age 13; Seventh Grade