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2023 National March for Life Rally on Parliament Hill, OttawaLifeSiteNews

OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — Canadians are set to gather for a prayer vigil in remembrance of the millions of victims of abortion prior to this year’s National March for Life in Ottawa.  

On May 8, Campaign Life Coalition is hosting a youth-organized candlelight vigil to pray for the millions of lives taken by abortion in the nation, the evening before Canadians from across the country are set to march to protect the unborn.   

“Since 1969, over four million preborn children have been killed by abortion. The loss of each one of these precious children is a tragedy,” CLC Youth Coordinator Maeve Roche told LifeSiteNews.  

“Their lives matter,” she declared. “That is why we remember them.” 

The vigil will begin with Holy Mass at 7:30 p.m. at St. Theresa Church in Ottawa. Following Mass, there will be a candlelight procession to the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights monument.  

There, from 9 to 10 p.m., the Candlelight Vigil for the Victims of Abortion will feature prayer, singing, and moving personal testimonies. A Holy Hour will follow at St. Theresa’s.   

The Canadian Tribute to Human Rights monument is chosen as the location for the vigil as the monument is inscribed with the words: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”  

However, since the legalization of abortion, many Canadians are denied their most basic right: the right to life.  

“Preborn children are endowed with this right from the moment of conception,” Roche explained. “Abortion strips them of this inalienable right. That is why abortion is the greatest human rights violation of our times. The pro-life movement will not stop, we will not give up, until the words on this monument become a reality for every preborn child.”  

During the vigil, Canadians will hold candles to honor the lives lost to abortion.  

“Their lives were snuffed out, but they are honored and remembered by the living flames of the candles,” Roche described.   

“The candles illuminating the dark night are a sign of hope that one day the abortion holocaust will come to an end and life will once more be respected and cherished,” she continued.  

The vigil also features speakers, including post-abortive women, women who have contemplated abortion and chose life, former abortionists, former Planned Parenthood employees, and clergy who have seen the first-hand impacts of abortion on their parishioners.  

“Each speaker has been personally impacted by abortion in one way or another, much like the whole of Canadian society, and they courageously share their personal testimony, in hopes of conveying hope or inspiring a passerby to choose life,” Roche explained.  

The vigil is held in a public setting, in downtown Ottawa, which means those passing by can hear the pro-life testimonies.  

“Last year, we featured a casket for an infant on stage to represent the countless lives lost to abortion,” Roche described.   

“During the vigil, we had a group of high school students place 30 red roses into the casket in a processive manner, with each rose representing 10 lives lost to abortion in Canada on that very day – totalling 300 unborn children killed by abortion,” she continued.  

“It was a beautifully tragic image that served as a physical expression of an often hidden reality – that each passing day, 300 unborn children are brutally killed in the wombs of their mothers at the hands of abortionists,” Roche added. “It certainly served as a powerful image to invoke reflection by attendees.” 

The vigil is only one part of the CLC’s schedule surrounding the National March for Life on May 9. Other events include a “Songs for Life” coffee house, an in-person viewing of Abby Johnson’s new film Unthinkable, a Rose Dinner, and a Youth Summit.

For more information regarding the National March for Life, including a complete schedule, sponsorship/exhibitor opportunities, and a list of buses, visit