During the first weekend of May, American Life League’s director of Defend the Faith, Michael Hichborn, participated in Italy’s March for Life and the Pro-Life Leader’s Conference. These events capped a week of prayer and grace as Michael, his wife Alyssa, and their four-month-old daughter Maria Faustina visited countless churches, relics, and sites where the first Christians were martyred.
The Hichborns landed in Rome on the morning of April 27, Divine Mercy Sunday, just before the canonization of St. John Paul II. While in Rome, they were able to pray for the mission of American Life League, its staff, and all of its supporters before the tomb of this great pope. They also carried these prayers, and many others, to the tombs of St. Peter, St. Pius X, and St. Catherine of Siena, and to the relics of St. Faustina, St. Francis Xavier, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Thomas the Apostle, the True Cross, to two thorns from the Crown of Thorns, to three of the nails of Christ’s crucifixion, to the sign Pontius Pilate placed on Jesus’ cross, to a piece of the crib of the Christ Child, and even up the very stairs Jesus stood and bled upon in Pilate’s Praetorium. And while they prayed for babies everywhere and an end to abortion, their own baby was blessed and kissed by Pope Francis at the general audience at the Vatican.
At the end of the week, Michael was given a key role in the Pro-Life Leader’s Conference where he explained American Life League’s long history in leading the charge for the denial of Holy Communion to pro-abortion, “Catholic” politicians. It was here that Michael and 51 other pro-life leaders signed a declaration calling on bishops to obey Canon 915.
On their last full day in Rome, Michael and his wife and baby represented American Life League at the Italian March for Life. In a crowd estimated to be about 50,000, they added ALL’s voice to the largest international march against abortion—a march that ended at St. Peter’s Square where Pope Francis urged the participants to “keep going.”
Michael Hichborn is director of American Life League’s Defend the Faith project.