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40 steps closer to a Scottish pro-life culture

MATT LYNCH reports on this year’s 40 Days for Life campaign in Glasgow — By MATT LYNCH

“Come a bit early,” said Stewart, one of the organisers of 40 Days for Life, which ended in Glasgow’s George Square. The ‘bit early’ was for the previous night at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where, for the last 40 days, pro-life prayer apostles (above) were in action from 8am till 8pm every day.

Apart from three days, that is, when the Red Alert due to the Beast from the East won the day and there was no vigil.

“The silent one-hour candlelit vigil starts at 7pm Matt, so can you be there for 6.30pm?”

I didn’t make it—misjudged the traffic!

As I arrived at 6.45pm I was in time for the fifth Sorrowful Mystery being led by Sarah. It was the end of Holy Week.

By 6.50pm, Stewart announced 60 people had lined the street; by 7.05pm it had swelled to 108.

It was now dark. It was an impressive sight as 108 candles flickered for the next hour with everyone in silent prayer.

The hospital was busy with motorists coming and going. I wondered what went through their minds as they witnessed this most unusual spectacle in Glasgow.

If it meant just one person taking time out to giving more thought to the abortion issue, then the 40 Days for Life vigil had done its job.

And that took us to the closing ceremony in George Square (below) when Fr Gareth Thomas from St Mungo’s Church, Townhead, led the large crowd in the Sorrowful Mysteries.

Then up to the podium came husband and wife team Audrey and Austin Gaughan who inspired with their thoughts and reflections.

Audrey was in magnificent form, not put off by the crowd of pro-abortionists behind us, chanting their mantra and banging their drums. She said that St Mother Teresa of Calcutta summed it up best when she said: “The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion, which is war against the child.”

Austin urged all of us to keep praying to end this culture of death, which sees an average classroom of children killed each day in Scotland.

Another example of the culture of death in Scotland reached the vigil with the story of a young woman who discovered at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital during a 12-week scan that she was expecting triplets—and was told to have an abortion.

She said: “I was delighted and felt so blessed to be expecting three precious little babies who I could see moving around on the ultrasound.”

However, during a discussion with the consultant she was told the pregnancy was very high risk and was offered ‘selective reduction.’

She added: “I was horrified when it dawned on me that I was being offered the option to abort one or two of my precious babies.

“When I think back to that conversation I still feel emotional. I was hurt and even angry. I loved all of my babies and killing them was not, and should not be, an option.”

As she drove out of the hospital grounds the first thing she saw was the prayer vigil.

She said: “You all immediately lifted my spirits. There were people—complete strangers to me—who actually valued every single one of my babies’ lives.

“You made me smile through my tears. I remember tooting the car horn and giving you all a thumbs up! I went home and thought a lot about what you were doing. Thank you for being there for me when I needed it.”

Robert Colquhoun, a young father of three, who seven years ago started the first 40 Days vigil in the UK, talked about the pressures woman faced during his message in George Square.

Mr Colquhoun, now the international director of 40 Days for Life, said there were the three aspects to 40 Days for Life—prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach. Each campaign seeks to bring about the end of the culture of death that is abortion.

He added: “It is hard to get your head around the fact that there are 56 million abortions around the world each year. This is the same number of deaths around the world each year from all other causes.

“So this means that abortion is the greatest individual cause of death in the world today. That is why we call it a crisis of epidemic proportion.”

He also said there were 350 cities throughout the world praying to end abortion during this Lent 2018, reporting that more than 500 babies had been saved during this one campaign.

And a final word from Elivia Pierotti, one of the many who participated in this year’s vigil: “Having spent some time in prayer outside the hospital in the freezing cold, it occurred to me that while we were doing something to please God He was actually carrying us.

“While immersed in the holy Rosary, the Divine Mercy, the Stations of the Cross and all the other prayers that we were offering up we were being supported and raised up by the Holy Spirit.

“It filled me with such a sense of joy and peace and each time I left the vigil and thawed out in my car I realised what a gift had been given to me.”

And so we all dispersed from George Square exhausted but firm in the belief that since no prayer is ever wasted we had moved our country closer to a culture of life.

We had put out into the deep in complete Faith and trust in God and he had remained with us each day.

Taking part in 40 Days for Life means quite simply putting some skin on your pro-life commitment.

Hope to see you all there next year.


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