✠ In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, one God in the Most Holy Trinity. Amen.
We are a virtual and interdenominational league* of Orthodox and Catholic Christians dedicated to uniting in prayer for an end to the scourge of abortion and infanticide in our times. We take refuge sub praesidium Mariae, under the spiritual omophorion (that is the “authority”) of Our Lady of the Sign, the Patroness of the Pro-Life Movement. This famous Byzantine icon is inspired by the words of the Holy Prophet Isaias (7:14): “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (DRA). This divine foreshadowing of Our Lord, God and Saviour’s birth as seen in the image, testifies to the sanctity of all life.
We recognize The 14,000 Infants massacre by King Herod or Holy Innocents as our patrons in this spiritual warfare, those children who were so maliciously and vilely destroyed in body by the civil authority of their day, King Herod, in absolute hatred of Christ.
We also recognize St. Stylianos of Paphlagonia as our patron and spiritual father in this spiritual warfare. His Vitae tells us of how he fled the world, giving away all of his material possessions, which were many, to embrace a monastic and ascetical life. As he progressed in spiritual perfection and left monastic life to dwell as a hermit, he did not leave behind his love of the brethren or his spiritual children. St. Stylianos, much like St. Thérèse of Liseux in the West, taught spiritual simplicity and childhood to his disciples. St. Stylianos was given a special ministry and charism to both heal sick children and through his intercession alleviate the bareness of Christian couples. These works have earned him the patronage of sick and dying children and infertile couples. We think it wholly appropriate to dedicate the small work of our apostolate to his patronage, to he who so loved and saved the children of his own day.
Prayer League Credo
We, the Christian faithful of this pious Prayer League believe and profess the following:
- Belief in One God, the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
- Belief in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed and the Decrees of the Holy Ecumenical Counsels (at least the first 7 or their continuations as deemed authoritative by our respective Church jurisdictions, Catholic or Orthodox).
- Belief in the True and Mystical Presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, under the outward appearances of bread and wine in the Most Holy Mysteries of the Altar. We also believe in all the Most Holy and Mystical Sacraments instituted by Christ for the Sacramental Life of His Church.
- Belief that Abortion and Infanticide are the most pressing and urgent human rights violations being perpetuated by civil authorities across the world.**
- Putting aside differences of opinion, politics, and of ideological positions, which still legitimately divide us from Full Communion, we join together fraternally and spiritually as true apostolic and orthodox Christians of the Catholic Church (The Holy See of Rome in union with her 24 Sister Eastern and Oriental Churches) and the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches (regardless of jurisdiction, ethnicity or communion status) and unite in prayer, fasting and almsgiving for the end to abortion and infanticide.
We, the Christian faithful of this pious Prayer League are committed to pray and work for an end to abortion and infanticide in our times, each according to our abilities. Under the guidance of our Holy Faith and the spiritual care of our heavenly patrons, Our Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, the Holy Innocents and St. Stylianos, we strive daily to carry out the small work of this apostolate and build up the Church and Society through intentionally fulfilling our Baptismal Promises and working towards Salvation.
Works of the Apostolate
Members who freely join themselves to the small work of this apostolate, promise (but are not obliged) to commit to the following spiritual and corporal works of mercy:
- The discipline of a modest Rule of Life (Daily Prayers, Scripture Study, Meditations, Spiritual Reading and frequent reception of the Holy Mysteries, principally Holy Repentance and Holy Communion).
- Daily or frequent prayers for civil and ecclesiastical Authorities, especially for conversion and an increase in holiness among the hierarchy and leaders of nations.
- Recitation of the DAILY PRAYER of this pious Prayer League.
- Specific prayers, prayer rules, fasting and/or sacrifices, according to each one’s ability, for an end to abortion and infanticide. These may include: The Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin (Prayer Rule of the Theotokos for Eastern Catholics), The Divine Mercy Chaplet, The Jesus Prayer (for the intention of obtaining graces to end abortion), Prayer Rules according to the Eastern traditions, Office of Paraklesis (Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos or Moleben), Canons, Akathists or private prayers before icons of Our Lady of the Sign, The Holy Innocents, or St. Stylianos.
- (OPTIONAL) Almsgiving, according to each one’s ability, for the Pro-Life Movement in the local ecclesiastical and civil jurisdictions of the individual member. These may include: Financially supporting Pro-Life groups such as Crisis Pregnancy Centres, Letter-writing campaigns, advocating before ecclesiastical and civil authorities for the rights of the unborn and taking political action through peaceful demonstrations such as praying in front of abortuaries, hospitals and clinics.***
Prayer League Daily Prayer (For Private Use)
Priest: Blessed be Our God, always, now and unto ages of ages.
[In the absence of a priest, the reader or leader chants, recto tono: +In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Spirit), Amen (x3). Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us. Amen.]
People: Eternal and Almighty God, One in the Most Holy Trinity, we Your sinful and unworthy servants lift our eyes and voices to You in fervent supplication! Spare this sinful and lost generation from Your Great Wrath, though it is All-Just, and look instead upon the vineyard which Your right hand has planted and protect the New Community which bears Your Name. Grant a complete and utter conversion to and instill a detestable revile of sin in the hearts of all abortionists, infanticidal physicians and those who ally themselves with the awful and diabolical work of abortion and infanticide. May Your Most Holy Ghost (Spirit) overshadow all children in the womb, and those newly born with a veil of protection, to keep them from all harm that would unjustly end their earthly lives.
O Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, we entrust to you the hearts of all women considering abortion and those family members and friends who most influence them. Cleanse their minds and thoughts of all doubts or discouragement and let them find the peace of Christ and through your intercession, choose Life.
O Holy Innocents and St. Stylianos the Protector of Children, our heavenly patrons, deign to prosper the small work of this apostolate with your assistance. Strengthen our wills to be ever mindful of Almighty God that we may be truly spiritual and effective workers in Christ’s vineyard. By your intercession may abortions cease throughout the world.
Lord have mercy (x3). Give the blessing!
Priest: May Christ our True God (risen from the dead), through the prayers of His Immaculate Mother, Our Lady of the Sign, of the Holy Innocents and St. Stylianos of Paphlagonia and all the saints, have mercy on us and save us for He alone is gracious and the lover of mankind.
[In the absence of a priest, the reader or leader chants, recto tono: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us. +In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (Spirit). Amen (x3).]
Members can report Works of the Apostolate to firstname.lastname@example.org to be recorded on this website.
Supporting this Apostolate
Lastly, in your charity, we humbly ask for your financial support for curating this website and assisting with the ongoing presence of this Apostolate. You can make a good-will offering on PayPal, consider becoming a Patreon Supporter of TheByzantineLife.com or purchase a Pro-Life tee shirt from Zazzle. Financial support of the Apostolate will never be a requirement of membership, which is free. We apologize that contributions are non-tax deductible. Thank you, and God bless.
✠ Glory to God for All Things. Amen.
*The Prayer League of The Holy Innocents & St. Stylianos is not considered a public or private Association of Laity as defined by the relative canons of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches or any Particular Law of an Eastern Catholic Church, sui iuris. It is not affiliated with or endorsed by any agency or entity within the Catholic Church or any canonical hierarchy or holy synod of the Orthodox Churches. This Prayer League does not endorse or lend its name to any chapters, branches or other groups which may form under this name, and we take no liability for the actions of said groups, should they exist or come into existence at any time. The association of this Prayer League will always be virtual and spiritual, connecting Christians throughout the world.
**This Prayer League takes no official position regarding the eternal status of the souls of aborted or unbaptized infantacided children, leaving it instead to the individual to follow the official teachings of their Church (viz. Limbo, etc.).
***Almsgiving to the Pro-Life Movement is an elective and voluntary element of the small work of this Prayer League, and members undertake these works at their own risk and at their own discretion. The Prayer League makes no general statements or guarantees regarding the accuracy of the above information presented as it applies to various abortion clinic situations, which exist across jurisdictions. The Prayer League cannot be held liable for the decisions of its members, viz. Bubble-Zone Laws or any other laws involving Pro-Life demonstrations as they exist, are legislated and enforced or as they may be amended from time to time. The Prayer League does not represent itself as a legal or canon law institution and membership in said League does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. The statements on this page should not be misconstrued as legal advice. The Prayer League is unable to assist with any legal or canon law fees that members accrue at any time for any reason. Please consult an attorney before making decisions that could have potential legal ramifications.