Around the world many Christians observe March 25, exactly nine months before Christmas, as the Feast of the Annunciation, the day when Mary said Yes to the Incarnation.
Since 1993, March 25 has also been observed as the Day of the Unborn Child, officially established in many nations either through the involvement of the Church and/or the civil government.
The purpose of the day is to highlight the humanity of the unborn child from the moment of conception and reminds us that Jesus Himself was once an unborn child.
This year national pro-life leaders have issued a joint statement declaring their support for celebrating the Day of the Unborn Child.
Heartbeat International, the Abortion Survivors Network, Human Life International, Expectant Mother Care, Priests for Life, Florida Right to Life, and Choose Life America are among those joining in celebrating the Day of the Unborn Child.
“In the United States, we are seeing radical pro-abortion bills being introduced in Congress, and a radical pro-abortion Supreme Court nominee,” said Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. “Pro-abortion lawmakers are slapping God in the face with a big ‘NO’ to life. By contrast, the Church and the pro-life movement say a big ‘YES’ to life."
“Therefore, pro-life leaders in the United States are inviting organizations, churches, families and individuals to celebrate March 25 as the Day of the Unborn Child,” he said.
This year's statement continues:
"At a time when our society is beset with the evil of abortion, and when the human embryo is treated as a mere object for scientific research, Priests for Life believes that the celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation is more important than ever. By celebrating this Feast with special solemnity, and by spending more time meditating on its doctrinal and spiritual lessons, the faithful can be even more solidly rooted in their pro-life convictions and spurred on to effective action in defense of life."
Tweet This: Pro-abortion lawmakers are slapping God in the face with a big ‘NO’ to life. The Church and the pro-life movement say a big ‘YES’ to life.
El Salvador was the first country to celebrate the Day of the Unborn Child, and the recognition has grown worldwide since then. In 2003, the first Provida International Congress in Madrid with representation from over 20 countries in Europe and the Americas institutionalized March 25 as International Day of Life. In some places, the day is known as the Day of the Conceived Child.
This year, the Day of the Unborn Child is recognized in Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Panama, Peru, Slovakia, Cuba, Austria, Philippines, Romania and more.
While the United States hasn't given any official Church or government declaration for the day so far, the pro-life movement here is beginning to pay attention to its focus elsewhere.
Observances have included the 2019 nine-month educational project about the development of the baby in the womb. This year, the National Prayer Luncheon for Life (NPLL) is set to be held on the Day of the Unborn Child.
The sixth annual International Gift of Life Walk is set for March 25 in New York City.
Local pro-life leaders are encouraged to hold public events in their towns and approach their pastors for events at their church.
Ways for individuals and churches to celebrate this day include:
- Spiritually adopt an unborn child and pray for him and his mother for nine months.
- Organize local Marches for Life or Rosary processions to abortion clinics or government buildings.
- Hold a fundraiser for pro-life groups or crisis pregnancy centers.
- Offer a Mass, Holy Hour or a prayer vigil for life.
- Organize a Life Chain in your town.
- Pray outside an abortion clinic. The 40 Days for Life Campaign is a good way to get involved. (www.40DaysforLife.com)
- Host a pro-life movie night.
- Pass out pro-life literature at your church.
- Set up a “cemetery of the innocents” somewhere in your community to witness to all the lives lost because of abortion.
- Follow the development of the unborn child at www.BabyChris.org.
- Organize a Church study group to read “The Gospel of Life.” The text of the encyclical and a study guide prepared by Priests for Life, can be found at www.GospelOfLife.org.
Additional resources can be found at DayOfTheUnbornChild.com.