I wanted to post this column on Monday, following an important pro-life event here in Rome on Saturday but some big news – the naming of new cardinals! – grabbed my attention and I spent time writing about that, as well as the celebration of Pentecost and the newly celebrated memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church. Yesterday I updated that news with bios and photos of the future cardinals.

Last Saturday was the eighth edition of Italy’s March for Life and our very own – Priests for Life’s very own – Janet Morana was a headline speaker at the gathering. This annual event has grown from just a few hundred people in the first years to an estimated 15,000 this people this year, including priests and nuns, parish groups, students, large and small families, mayors of many Italian cities and representatives of international pro-life movements. Janet’s visit to Rome took place just days after she participated in the Canadian March for life.

Here’s a great video from the Register’s website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=31&v=mdoMvH7Uw9Y

God bless her, Janet addressed the marchers in Italian at Pza. Venezia at the end of their long but joy-filled walk on a warm afternoon. Her talk followed weeks of study and some heavy tutoring by a mutual friend of ours. I posted a video of her speech a few days ago.

To many cheers, Janet said, in part: “We stand and march today for the greatest and most urgent human rights cause of our day. Nothing in our world takes more lives than abortion! No one is more defenceless than the child in the womb. If you take away a child’s right to life, you cannot credibly claim to care about its right to an education, housing, healthcare, immigration or anything else. Unless you are safely born, you cannot exercise any other right!”

This year’s March for life took place just days before the 40th anniversary of Italy’s legalization of abortion on May 22, 1978. Italy legalized abortion through the first 90 days of pregnancy or later in cases of life-endangering circumstances for the mother or child.

Saturday evening, Janet, our mutual friend and her tutor, Geoffrey Strickland, who studies in Rome and helps out Priests for Life on occasion, and I celebrated her milestone with a wonderful dinner at the every amazing Terrazza Borromini.

Here are some of the photos I took that evening, as the sun set and into the evening. If Rome is not magical, no place is!