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Defending life
from conception to natural death



Mary Wagner – a witness of charity for life

Posted by Rhoslyn Thomas on 30 January 2015
Mary Wagner

Mary Wagner began her full-time prolife mission in Canada after college. She served the most vulnerable in Vancouver, British Columbia, and travelled throughout the country defending life in many different ways, particularly through a peaceful, personal presence at abortion facilities.

She worked with the Servants of Our Lady of Guadalupe at World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002. After that, she made numerous visits to the US to assist the servants in pro-life ministry, including sidewalk counselling, education, Frassati Outdoor celebrations of life, and a pilgrim/talk at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

During this time she encountered the religious order the Community of St. John. She took between 3-4 years discerning a contemplative vocation with much of that time spent in France at the mother house cloister. While in deep prayer at the convent chapel, Mary believed she heard the voice of Jesus Christ calling her back to serve the unborn children and their mothers in Canada, particularly those innocent ones in most imminent danger of violence. And so with the blessing of her superior she returned, maintaining a spiritual friendship with both the Community of St. John and the Servants.

Mission of gentle love

Mary’s unique mission of gentle love takes her to the abortion centres and even inside the facilities to share the light of Christ. She brings flowers and compassionate cards of aid to the women who are abortion vulnerable. She speaks words of peace and encouragement. And her charity is one which refuses to depart from the places of darkness and violence, even when instructed by those who wish to take the lives of the innocent to leave the scene of the crime. By God’s grace, numerous mothers, fathers and babies have been touched by Mary’s sacrificial Christian charity, and lives have been saved.

This mission of love combined with courage and steadfastness has not always been met well with the abortion industry and those favouring the more socialist and pro-abortion side of the Canadian government. As a result, Mary has been in prison for an overall total which surpasses three years. Her charge is “mischief”. Currently she is being unjustly held in the Vanier women’s prison in Toronto, and has been incarcerated since August 15, 2012 for reaching out to abortion-vulnerable mothers/children. On that day when she brought her trademark red roses and her smile, she was assaulted by members of the abortion mill. No charges were brought against these individuals.

So the question is asked, if Mary’s only so-called charge is “mischief” then why is she still in confinement?

"Sign this ... or else"

In response to Mary’s quiet compassion, the government demanded that she never return to offer assistance to babies or mothers at any abortion facilities in the entire Province of Ontario. By God’s grace, Mary has bravely returned three times to the killing centres knowing well that complying with unjust court orders only assists the oppressors and never the oppressed. As a result, the Crown has made Mary’s current release conditional upon her signing an immoral court document stating that she promises never to be present at any abortion mill in Ontario. Again, sustained by Divine grace, Mary has refused and will continue to refuse to sign any dishonest contract with those favouring the assault on the innocent women and children. She sincerely desires that her words and actions will consistently bear witness to both the victims and the victimizers about the truth of the sanctity of all human persons. Thus, Miss Wagner has become a prisoner of conscience… a prisoner of love.

One might say that Mary is the “Queen’s good servant, but God’s first.”

In this most recent time of unjust detention, some amazing things have happened while in she has been in prison:

  1. She has helped to save the life of an unborn baby by talking to the pregnant mother in prison. (Who later came back to visit Mary and thank her for helping to save her son Alexander, who also was there for the visit!)
  2. She was awarded by a pro-life Member of Parliament the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal of Honour as an outstanding Canadian who has made a lasting contribution to the good of the nation. (One of the highest civilian awards in the country.)
  3. Some guards and prison staff are grateful for Mary’s presence with the ladies in lockup, and state that her prayerfulness, respect and gentleness are having a huge positive impact on the population.
  4. Her friend Bishop Gracias from India was elevated to Cardinal by Pope Francis to assist him with the reform of the Curia, and the new Cardinal visited Mary and celebrated a special Mass, the first ever, at the Vanier Women’s Prison with other bishops and priests last year. There were many Confessions heard before Mass from a large number of penitents who were counted among both inmates and staff. Mary has written that the Holy Mass celebrated on the feast of St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross continues to bear much fruit in the lives of theses women. Deo gratias!
  5. Cardinal Gracias told Pope Francis about Mary and her mission, and the Holy Father gave Mary his Petrine blessing, a personal gift, a promise of his own prayers, and a request that Mary pray for him! (Thank you Pope Francis!)
  6. The cases have garnered international attention from reports by LifeSiteNews, particularly when a judge had said to Mary in court that “you are wrong and your God is wrong!” This was the most widely read pro-life internet story in the world in 2011.
  7. The current case has attracted much national secular press attention as well due to the controversy of her Jubilee Medal award and her efforts to receive “legal aid”. In the case of the latter, since she is attempting to mount a constitutional challenge to the Canadian laws regarding abortion, she applied for assistance to cover her costs since she is indigent. The Crown rejected her request, but only because the top government prosecution team of attorneys argued against her. All for a simple case of “mischief”?! This unjust treatment is attracting attention and admiration, even from those who do not consider themselves “pro-life”. 
  8. Her witness is galvanizing the young adult pro-life movement in Canada, finding in Mary a heroine of peace who is emblematic of the courage, truth and love needed to stand for life. The Christmas Postcard Campaign organized by the Canadian national pro-life group Campaign Life Coalition went international, and Mary received thousands of positive greetings from throughout the world.

Mary acknowledges that any good coming from her “small efforts” are the grace of Almighty God and the fruit of the many prayers of those who love God and His children. We pray that her noble efforts may be used by God in a mighty way to challenge the culture of death in Canada and beyond, and that Mary’s witness of love would inspire many others to peacefully and perseveringly build a victorious culture of life.

Here is the information about the prison where Mary Wagner is currently being held:

  • Telephone: 905-876-8300
  • Address:
    Vanier WDC
    655 Martin
    St. Box 1040
    ON L9T 5E6

For those wishing to send her a letter please observe the following rules, and note that the detention staff reads all material that is sent:

  1. Do not use stickers (e.g., address, return address, pro-life, religious, etc.) on the envelope or card.
  2. Do not send anything that is laminated (e.g., cards, bookmarks, prayer cards, pro-life literature, photos, etc.). Non-laminated items are approved.
  3. Do not ask direct questions about her daily activity at the detention center.
  4. Put your address directly on the card or letter. (Sometimes the mail sorter keeps the envelope and I’m sure Mary would enjoy writing you back.)
  5. If you wish to send money to Mary (for stamps, envelopes, etc.) please only send a money order made out to “Mary Wagner.”
  6. Any Christian or pro-life articles would be appreciated, but the jail will not accept any pictures of aborted children.

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