Parang as domesticity
December 22, 2020
Broken Nativity
December 22, 2020

Mary and Joseph, defenders of life

We probably won’t have much explaining to do when we say that the year 2020 was a year like no other in living memory! The COVID-19 pandemic locked us away in our homes, prohibited close contact with our friends and relatives, deprived us of the sacramental reception of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist.

Still, the Culture of Death marched on. Around the world, abortion was deemed an “essential service”, and chemical abortion, in particular, despite the dangers, was made available for self-administration at home, sometimes after a “telemedicine consultation”.

Calls for “comprehensive sexuality education” (which, incidentally, has been rejected by the General Assembly of the United Nations) have been persistent. While many parents are happy to hand over the task of the sexual education of their children to “another agency”, components of such programmes pose a challenge to traditional Christian and other faith views on sexuality and marriage, and bring to the fore issues such as respect for parental rights and the sexualising of children.

The month of December, nevertheless, has been/was redeeming, filling us with new hope, new vigour, new resolve.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated on  December 8, is of particular significance for the pro-life mission.

According to Fr Paul Schenck, founding Director of the National Pro-Life Center (NPLC) in Washington, DC, in Catholic Online on August 12, 2016, “the Immaculate Conception teaches us that everything that Mary would become she already was in the first moment of her conception. Mary was not less than Mary before her birth.”

This teaches us, he says, that “we possess our full potential—our full personhood—from the first moment of our conception.”

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn, which we celebrated on December 12, honours a humble and compassionate Aztec woman carrying the Son of God in her womb, thereby proclaiming the sanctity and blessedness of life in the womb, says Fr Paul Marx, founder of Human Life International.

Just as she was instrumental in ending the practice of human sacrifice in Mexico, she is needed now to intercede for us in the struggle against the anti-life forces of abortion, sex education and euthanasia, among others.

Fr Frank Pavone of Priests for Life is convinced of the surety of the victory of life over death contained in the words of Our Lady to Juan Diego: “Hear and let it penetrate your hearts, my dear little ones. Let nothing discourage you, nothing depresses you; … Are you not in the folds of my mantle?”

This December, we were provided with another source of joyful hope for the future. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on  December 8, Pope Francis announced a year of St Joseph. He explained that he had observed that during the pandemic “so many people … have made hidden sacrifices to protect others, just as St Joseph quietly protected and cared for Mary and Jesus.”

He posited that “Each of us can discover in Joseph … an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble.”

He also wanted to highlight St Joseph’s role as a father who served his family with charity and humility, he said, stressing that “Our world today needs fathers”.

In 2021, may we with confidence invoke the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, and of Joseph, her Most Chaste Spouse, in the cause of life.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, pray for us!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

St Joseph, pray for us!


By the Emmanuel Community, 46 Rosalino Street, Woodbrook. Tel:628-1064;