U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke and U.S. pro-life leaders joined tens of thousands of demonstrators in Italy's third annual March for Life May 12, which ended with a personal greeting from Pope Francis.continue at CNS
According to organizers, some 30,000 marched along the route from the Colosseum to Castel Sant'Angelo, a distance of nearly two miles. They followed a large wooden cross decorated with replicas of unborn children, and carried signs bearing messages such as "Let's not kill the future" and "Stop silent genocide."
Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno and Maurizio Gasparri, vice president of Italy's Senate, were among the participants.
Many of the marchers had reached the end of the route by 11:30 a.m., when Pope Francis acknowledged them before praying the "Regina Coeli" in St. Peter's Square, at the other end of Via della Conciliazione from Castel Sant'Angelo. The pope called on the marchers to "keep the attention of everyone on the important issue of respect for human life from the moment of conception."