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Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore.archbaltimore / YouTube

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — On the eve of the March for Life, a U.S. bishop called for Catholics to “redouble our efforts to accompany” pregnant women in difficulty while using the Blessed Mother as an example.

After saluting the different pro-life ministries in attendance at the opening Mass of the The National Prayer Vigil for Life, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, presented the Blessed Virgin Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth as a model for those who minister to pregnant mothers in need.

“Mary … exemplified walking with moms in need when she learned from the angel Gabriel that her cousin Elizabeth, well past the age of childbearing, was in her sixth month,” Lori said. “Mary hastened to her side. Mary’s journey through the country was a dangerous trek of some 90 miles, but she went the distance to reach out in love to Elizabeth in her hour of need.”

Lori suggested that supporting pregnant women is not just for those involved in official ministry but for everyone. “Walking with moms in need is a way that all of us can help millions of mothers,” he said.

The archbishop pointed out that a “loving defense of the most vulnerable, namely the unborn, continually overflows into love and respect for their mothers and families.” To Lori, the support of pregnant mothers in need is key in helping pro-life ministry bear its full fruit, particularly as laws strengthen to protect the unborn.

“If legal protection is accompanied by more care for mothers and children, then it will be more and more clear to more and more of our fellow citizens that choosing life does not hinder happiness and does not burden society,” Lori said.

We must “redouble our efforts to accompany women and couples” in difficult pregnancies, particularly if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, he continued.

“In this way, the material, emotional, or spiritual assistance we offer to women can help the ‘dignity and worth’ of each life be cherished to the fullest, giving homage to the Scriptural truth that each human life is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’”

The archbishop urged all those listening to “go forth … with renewed resolve to reach out to a family member, a neighbor or a fellow parishioner to encourage them to join this great cause for life.”

The National Prayer Vigil for Life is an all-night pro-life prayer vigil held on the eve of the March for Life each January. More than 20,000 pilgrims from across the nation pray through the night for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life. It is held at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

The National Prayer Vigil for Life is sponsored by the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and The Catholic University of America Office of Campus Ministry.