On Tuesday January 21, the Nine Days for Life novena begins. It includes the Day for Life on January 22, which the General Instruction of the Roman Missal calls a “day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion”. Details at respectlife.org/january.
On Saturday January 18, the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity begins. (Some countries hold it at a different time of year.) As is traditional, there is a text for reflection, which this year is Acts 28:2: “They showed us unusual kindness.”
St Sebastian’s feast day falls on Monday, January 20. He was sentenced to death during the Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians.
In the Spanish village of Piornal, the day is marked each year by a ceremony in which the villagers attend Mass, then throw turnips at a man dressed as a monster (left). The historical connection with St Sebastian is unclear.
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