FRANCE, January 20, 2011 ( – Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message of endorsement to the organizers of the French March for Life, to be held this Sunday in Paris.

In a letter to organizers of the march, published on the French news website, Nouvelles de France, the Holy See’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone gave the pope’s words as follows:

“Informed of the ‘March for Life’ which will be held in France on January 23, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI cordially greets the participants and encourages everyone engaged in the fight for life to contribute with constancy and courage to the establishment of a new culture of life, fruit of the culture of the truth and of love (cf. Evangelium Vitae n. 77).”

“By loving and honoring the life of every man and every woman, from conception until natural death, they work as well to favor a dignified and fraternal existence for everyone. In the measure of his spiritual closeness, His Holiness asks the Lord to grant to each one the abundance of his blessings.”

An image of the letter, in French, can be found here.

Nouvelles de France notes that the pope is joining his voice to numerous French bishops who have endorsed the March, a number that grows each year. This year, the March is being supported by Bishops Aillet (Bayonne, Lescar, Oloron), Aubry (Saint Denis de la Réunion), Bagnard (Belley-Ars), Cardinal Barbarin (Lyon), Batut (Lyon), Boulanger (Bayeux-Lisieux), Breton (Aire et Dax), Castet (Luçon), Cattenoz (Avignon), Centène (Vannes), Coppenrath (Papeete), Jacolin (Mende), Perrier (Tarbes-Lourdes), and Rey (Fréjus-Toulon).

According to the organizers’ website, the march will begin at 2:30 pm this Sunday, January 23, in Paris’ Place de la République (10e). Marchers will walk to the Place de l’Opéra.  The site also shows the locations of numerous other marches to be held on the same day throughout France.

A video presentation of the march can be found here.