R.I.P.: Fr. Paul Marx, the Apostle of Life, Died a Holy Death
Like a pro-life Johnny Appleseed, Father Marx planted pro-life organizations wherever he went.
Even today, the pro-lifers whom Fr. Paul Marx enlisted, encouraged and helped organize still constitute the essential core of the pro-life movement around the world.
FRONT ROYAL, VA. (Population Research Institute) - Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, Founder and long-time Chairman of Population Research Institute (PRI), was a pioneer in the worldwide pro-life movement. He was a man of God but also a man of action in the mold of St. Paul, his name saint.
He understood the dangers posed by abortion, euthanasia, and contraception as well as the organizations that promoted these evils. He foresaw the Demographic Winter that the agents of Population Control have now brought about.
He knew the mortal harm that birth control would cause everywhere, including its effect on the loss of faith of Catholics and on the Catholic Church itself. And he organized a worldwide movement to meet these threats to life and family head on and defeat them.
Born on 8 May 1920 in St. Michael, Minnesota, Fr. Marx was the 15 of 17 children born to his devout Catholic parents. The example of his parents gave him an instinctive understanding of the sanctity of life and the centrality of the family.
Fr. Marx received his bachelorīs degree from St. Johnīs University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He continued his studies at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and the Catholic University of America, where he received a Doctorate Degree in Family Sociology. He did post graduate work at Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, and the American University in Washington, D.C.
He was ordained to the priesthood on 15 June 1947 by the Order of St. Benedict. After nearly two decades on the faculty of St. Johns University, and at his own request, he was allowed to work on pro-life issues full time beginning the late sixties.
As soon as abortion became in issue in the 1960s, Father became actively engaged in promoting life, writing his first pro-life article in 1967.
He celebrated the release of Humanae Vitae in 1968 with its condemnation of abortion, sterilization, and contraception, but found himself increasingly scandalized in the months that followed by the widespread dissent that greeted this teaching of Pope Paul VI. Even his own brother, a Benedictine theologian, joined the dissenters.
Determined to defend what he saw was a prophetic document, Father Marx founded the Human Life Center at St. Johnīs University, in 1972. Fatherīs outspoken defense of life quickly gained him a national reputation, but within his own community there was criticism. Many there were uncomfortable with his condemnation of contraception and his opposition to abortion. Father Marx was gradually ostracized by many of his confreres and ultimately forced to leave his beloved St. Johnīs Abbey.
The Abbott gave him a used car and $2000 and sent him on his way. He drove to Washington, D.C. where, with the assistance of a few lay friends, founded Human Life International (HLI). Then, like his namesake, he began the pro-life missionary journeys that would earn him the title of "The Apostle of Life."
Over the course of the next four decades, Fr. Marx visited over 90 countries in his tireless campaign to promote the Culture of Life, urging local pro-lifers to organize and defend life from conception to natural death.
He undertook the task of spreading the pro-life message with apostolic zeal, blessed as he was with a rare combination of visionary leadership and boundless energy. Everywhere he went he encouraged knowledge about Natural Family Planning/Natural Fertility Regulation and alternatives to abortion. He showered hundreds of thousands of Rosaries and Holy Cards on every part of the world. He supplied mountains of pro-life literature, pamphlets, films, videos, posters and models.
Like a pro-life Johnny Appleseed, Father Marx planted pro-life organizations wherever he went. He founded Population Research Institute (PRI) in the U.S., Family Life International in the U.K., Family Life International in New Zealand, Family Life International in Australia, and literally dozens of other groups around the world.
This network of organizations, under his direction, and with the help of generous donors and under Godīs grace, grew to be the greatest pro-life organization in the World. The effectiveness of Fr. Marx and his organizations caused the International Planned Parenthood Federation to label him "Public Enemy Number One."
Even today, the pro-lifers whom he enlisted, encouraged and helped organize still constitute the essential core of the pro-life movement around the world.
Once a year, during the Easter octave, he held a "World ...
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