Please note: In 2017, the Day of Prayer is observed on Monday, Jan. 23 because Jan. 22 falls on a Sunday. Any references to the "Jan. 22 Day of Prayer" are moved to Jan. 23 in accord with GIRM, n. 373.
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, along with its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy in every state in the nation.
The General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM), n. 373, designates January 22 (or January 23 when the 22nd falls on a Sunday) as a particular day of prayer and penance called the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children". All the faithful in dioceses throughout the country are called to observe this day in a spirit of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for the violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.
We can observe this day through special prayers, fasting, sacrifices, and acts of charity (similar to our Lenten practices), both communally in our parishes as well as individually in our own spiritual lives.
CLICK HERE to download suggestions for observing the Jan. 22 (or 23rd) Day of Prayer and Penance.
More resources and information from the USCCB here.
March for Life
9 Days for Life National Novena - Jan. 21-29