Lebenszentrum Salzburg Marks 200th Prayer Vigil
Human Life International (HLI) Affiliate, Lebenszentrum Salzburg (LZ), just held its 200th prayer vigil in Salzburg, Austria. This monthly vigil marks one of the so-called “Vigil 2000” prayer vigils that have been held to date in cities across Austria. 4,000 total have been held across Europe over the last 15 years. To mark the anniversary and just before officially retiring at age 75 His Excellency, Auxiliary Bishop Dr. Andreas Laun of Salzburg, joined LZ. In his homily, Bishop Laun asked, “How is it possible European politicians argue for human rights and praise themselves, but have no words on behalf of unborn children?” But as Pope Saint John Paul II said in Evangelium Vitae (EV), here “we can rely on the help of God.”
Prayer make abortion visible. The abortion industry does the opposite, hiding what they do under insidious phrases like, “It’s just a blob of tissue.” By witnessing to life at an abortion facility, those praying testify on the child’s behalf. In drawing attention to the ugly truth that abortion is, they unmask the fraud as killing to all.
LZ Director and therapist Joannes Bucher: “We desire to pray for pregnant mothers in need and the protection of our unborn sisters and brothers. According to Pope Saint John Paul II, this struggle over the value of human life is the decisive battle of our time. Behind the abortion mentality is the old struggle between God and the devil. Therefore it must be fought with spiritual weapons. Wojtyla, the Holy Father, also identified the ultimate enemy in this battle as “the forces of evil.”
Powerful Words of Pope Saint John Paul II
There is certainly an enormous disparity between the powerful resources available to the forces promoting the “culture of death” and the means at the disposal of those working for a “culture of life and love”. But we know that we can rely on the help of God, for whom nothing is impossible (cf. Mt 19:26)…. may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer. Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11). As he taught his disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29). Let us therefore discover anew the humility and the courage to pray and fast so that power from on high will break down the walls of lies and deceit: the walls which conceal from the sight of so many of our brothers and sisters the evil of practices and laws which are hostile to life. May this same power turn their hearts to resolutions and goals inspired by the civilization of life and love” (EV 100). —Pope Saint John Paul II
What is an LZ Prayer Vigil?
Simply, it is an event where demonstrators actively pray for life. The prayer vigil often starts with mass, then the Blessed Sacrament is exposed on the altar. HLI Europe goes into battle using the prayer model created by American priest, Monsignor Philip Reilly, of “Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.” 70% of the mission is prayer and 30% is action. Some stay in church and continue Adoration, while other faithful go outside to take part in a procession and rosary – worshipping God and asking Him to end abortion. The vigil ends in the church with the Eucharistic blessing.
The faithful understand their ministry as participation in Jesus’ commitment to life. In front of the abortion hospitals, they stand long in prayer, almost as Mary and John stood under the cross on Golgotha. “Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me” (St. Matthew, 25:40).
Prayers save lives. Bucher: “We do not demonstrate, we pray. We do not judge, there is no violence. We are there to suffer with God Himself and trust Him to stop the evil. The peaceful vigil is entirely in a spirit of atonement and vicarious prayer. To date, seven Austrian abortion mills have closed just during this prayer period. God Himself will lead us to victory.”
HLI’s Regional Director of Europe, Joannes Bucher, contributed to this report.