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The needy are ‘masterpieces of God’s creation’, says Pope

Pope Francis blesses a woman at Castel Gandolfo last Sunday (AP)

Pope Francis has sent a message to Catholics in Britain and Ireland in preparation of the annual Day for Life, highlighting the need to care for life from conception until its natural end.

He said in his message that all life is valuable and worthy of care, no matter the circumstance.

“Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect. Day for Life will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that it is due.”

The theme for this year’s Day for Life is “Care for Life – It’s Worth It”, inspired by a homily by Pope Francis in 2005. In the homily, he said: “All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth… to give life is to open [our] heart, and to care for life is to [give oneself] in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart for others.”

More than 500,000 leaflets have been sent out in England and Wales alone in preparation for this year’s Day for Life, which takes place next Sunday.

This year’s day focuses on “care for unborn children and their mothers, care for people who are elderly and care for those who are suicidal”.