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By Marian Friedrichs (Nov 6, 2008)
When Barack Obama was riding the campaign trail, he vowed in a speech to Planned Parenthood that his first move in office would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. This act is designed to remove every restriction on abortion, including the restrictions that the Roe v. Wade decision itself stipulated, such as protection against lawsuits for medical personnel and health care centers (i.e., Catholic hospitals) that object to performing abortions.

During the nine final days before the election, Fr. John Corapi asked Catholics to pray a Novena to Our Lady of Victory. In 1571, when Europeans prayed this novena at the request of Pope Pius V, the outnumbered European army was able to defeat the Islamic invading forces. Those of us who prayed the novena for Obama's defeat in the race for the White House may be tempted to believe that our prayers went unheeded, but our Mother in Heaven always hears the prayers of her children, and I believe that we need to cling to her and to trust in her Son more strongly now than ever.

While I was praying the novena, it occurred to me that it was not enough to pray for Obama to lose the election; I must pray that his heart and the hearts of all who agree with him about abortion will be changed, regardless of the outcome of the election. Barack Obama is not an evil man, and I fervently hope that all of the good things his supporters expect him to do for our nation come to pass. I hope he is able to end the war and to provide good health care to every citizen. Still, as Mother Teresa said, "Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants." We don't want our nation to teach that, and neither does Obama.

Therefore, I would like to ask, humbly yet urgently, that my fellow Christians join me in prayer for our new leader. On the night of the election, I lay in bed praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy over and over again; I did so again the next day, and I imagined Jesus hovering over the White House and embracing it with the red and pale rays from His chest. Saint Faustina used the chaplet for every intention, from saving her loved ones from mortal sin, to attaining salvation for a dying soul outside the state of grace, to bringing down rain during a drought. "The Lord let me know," she wrote, "that everything can be obtained through means of this prayer" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1128).

I will, of course, continue to pray the chaplet for President-elect Obama, but I also plan to continue the Novena to Our Lady of Victory (the text of which is included down below). In the image associated with that title, Our Lady is shown crushing the serpent under her feet, assuring us that there is nothing her intercession cannot attain. In fact, our Mother Mary personally reminded St. Faustina of the great need for prayer when the world turns from God: "What I demand from you is prayer, prayer, and once again prayer, for the world and especially for your country ... Always and everywhere, at all times and places, day or night, whenever you wake up, pray in the spirit" (Diary, 325). Finally, I plan to say the Litany of St. Thomas More, the patron saint of politicians, who served as chancellor of England but was martyred for refusing to recognize the divorce and remarriage of King Henry the VIII that caused the breach between England and the Catholic Church that our world is still reeling from.

I'm not asking anyone to use the exact prayers I plan to use, although I believe it would be very powerful to have that additional unity. In the end, however, what matters most is not how we pray but that we pray and that we influence others to pray in whatever form their souls are ready for. While we do this, we must also make sure to steep our lives in the sacraments, receiving Holy Communion and going to confession often so that we have the graces we need to be the effective intercessors God wants to make us.

Jesus promised, "If two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven" (Mt 18:19). The supporters of Planned Parenthood trust in the promise Obama made to them. How much more we should trust in the promise Jesus made to us and pray with complete confidence for the healing and salvation of His beloved son, our new president.

Here are the prayers that I mentioned.

Marian Tascio is a freelance writer who lives in Yonkers, N.Y.

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A servant of Jesus and Mary - Nov 6, 2008

Thank you for reiterating Our Lady's call to prayer. Yes, we are all children of God. Faith, hope, and love, allows trust in Jesus to become more profund. May we all grow in these virtues, amen.

Father Bill - Nov 6, 2008

Any house that is built on rot will ultimately become rotten through and through...and it will collapse...taking everything in sight with it. I pray that President Obama has the Divine Wisdom to think very carefully and pray very hard before building his administration on the rot of the Freedom of Choice Act. Our prayer can influence his thinking if we ask it in the Holy Spirit - believing that we have received it - according to God's will! Pray with me!

Tim McCarthy - Nov 6, 2008

Sadly, we reap what we sow. Folks, we are in big trouble. O God, have mercy on us!

Joan Maroney - MOMM - Nov 6, 2008

Thank you Marian for this wonderful article, a great balm to our wounds. Thank you Marian Fathers for publishing this article to help stir and guide the flock in these trying times. "Jesus, I trust in You" provides us with the parachute we as we continue to keep our eyes focused on the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The battle may appear lost, but we know the war will be won! Please, everyone, continue to pray. Pray without ceasing.

A follower of Our Lord - Nov 6, 2008

I would suggest that we include in our prayers all those Catholics and Christians who voted pro-abortion and now, in the words of a very wise priest, have "innocent blood on their hands." May they understand the depth of their mistake and come back to the Lord.

Veneranda - Nov 7, 2008

Dear Christians, lets pray hard for the president to see sense into the issue of abortion. Let us be positive and that he is God's choice, otherwise he would not have won. We should not pray for a particular person to win but for God to grant the world good and caring leaders. We need them now with the way the world is today. Jesus we Trust in You. Amen

Beth - Nov 7, 2008

The election of Obama represents many good impulses of our nation. I do believe that. But let us remember that his views on pro-choice are shared by a majority of Americans. Therefore, we must not only pray for him, our new president, but pray for all of our nation and work to educate the millions of pro-choice Americans about the moral bankruptcy of the "choice" that offends God and offends the very principals our nation is built upon. I believe in our country and its people. And I believe we've only scratched the surface of the "change" ahead.

Thank you for this website. I will answer your call to pray for this important intention.

Tom Perrone - Nov 7, 2008

Mary's words were never more resounding than they are today, " Prayer, prayer, and, once again, prayer. " Our country is predominantly an amoral, dysfunctional, an illogical cesspool, and we cannot reasonably expect that God will embrace us when we have killed over 50,000,000 of his children since 1973 and elected a new president who is antagonistic towards life and Truth. America has spoken, and in our foolishness, arrogance, and amorality, we have gotten it wrong. I, too, suggest remaining under our Holy Mother's heavenly care through consistently and ardently praying the Rosary, and begging for God's Mercy through reciting the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Yes; God is all loving and merciful, but He is also just, and He will not tolerate our nonsense forever.

Steph - Nov 7, 2008

I will start praying the chaplet again for our new president and country. As well as the Christians and Catholics who voted pro choice may hearts be converted through the intercession of our Lady and St.Faustina. Jesus I trust in you. Amen

Patty - Nov 9, 2008

The hate being spread through the Catholic Church is the reason the membership is falling. God could stop abortions,and all evil, but He gave us free will to choose. The Chinese have to have abortions. And Bush supports that country over ours and yet you supported him. I will continue to pray God opens yours or mine eyes.I walked in D.C. against abortion. But will try not to judge as you seem fit.

Christian Church - Nov 9, 2008


Patricia - Nov 10, 2008

Marian -

You are very kind to consider President-Elect Obama in terms like
"I hope he is able to end the war and to provide good health care to every citizen. Still, as Mother Teresa said, 'Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants.' We don't want our nation to teach that, and neither does Obama."

But I greatly fear that his agenda for this country is much darker than you think. Because he is so coldly, ruthlessly pro-abortion - more so than any other national politician on the scene today or anyone ever to run for the presidency - he is most certainly "teaching," at least by example, that we CAN use the violence of abortion to get whatever we want. He has used it himself all these years to get what he wanted - the presidency.

His "end[ing] the war in Iraq and providing health care to every citizen" will not only be "built upon" his pro-abortion foundation but may well put this country in considerably deeper jeopardy at the same time.

I fear a direct relationship between his support for all abortions all the time, even after the child is born during abortion, and his support for government-controlled healthcare, which will necessarily involve some form of "rationing" of care in order to pay for everyone, and an arbitrary withdrawal from Iraq, whether the sacrifices we've already made there can be sustained or not.

All three are cloaked in the facade of "helping those in need," like women with unplanned pregnancies, but are executed with an arrogance of power that seems beyond the reach of any genuine humility before God.

Of course I will pray for the President-Elect and for this beleaguered country of ours. And I, like so many millions, will keep up the good fight for the dignity and protection of all human life.

But it's looking as if the Good Lord Himself will have to rescue us from Mr. Obama's victorious plans. May the Divine Mercy be with us every step of the way.

Chriatian Church - Nov 11, 2008

Marion,is right but all Saints can and will help us to make and bring about Spiritual RightNess to Our Country,I Pray for Our Country and my State{Maine}and New england area each Day we can do this in our own part of the country.We can Change this Country one persons Heart at a Time,Praise God!!!!

wait until it happens to you - Nov 12, 2008

When people try to say the Catholic Church hates because it puts the pro life message above others I say wait until it happens to you -- when you are in a hospital room and some doctor decides caring for your loved one is futile and he pulls the plug against your wishes or your loved one is denied care and you are helpless as you watch their life slip away and can't do a thing to save them. It happened to me and it will happen to you. Then you'll learn why being pro life is paramount. You can replace things you can't replace people.

Elizabeth - Nov 16, 2008

I've also been praying the prayer of St. Michael the Archangel since the night of the election.

gb - Nov 16, 2008

Marian, Thank you for this thoughtful article. I've been in mourning for the last 11 days for the innocents who will die because basically Catholics in this country voted their pocketbooks instead of voting for the voiceless. I have to agree with Patricia. No matter what other 'good' comes out of this presidency, the foundation is built on sand. Cardinal Stafford made that very clear in his speech at Catholic U yesterday.