Background of the Day of the Unborn Child
Pro-life advocates around the world increasingly celebrate March 25 as the Day of the Unborn Child and use it to call for a respect for life from conception. Recognition of the day has spread from Latin America to Europe and continues to grow each year.
The celebration of March 25 as the Day of the Unborn Child was first recognized in El Salvador in 1993 and has grown rapidly. In 2003, the first Provida International Congress in Madrid with representation from over 20 countries in Europe and the Americas institutionalized March 25th as International Day of Life. Since then, the day has grown in popularity, in some places recognized as the Day of the Conceived Child. The Day of the Unborn Child has been recognized in Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Panama, Peru, Slovakia, Cuba, Austria, Philippines, Romania and more.
Celebrations have included Spain marking the day with over 200 civil associations participating in a march to defend life and 42 different localities throughout the country held demonstrations supporting the march with the theme "Say yes to life".
Slovakia marked the Day of the Conceived Child with a week-long campaign featuring media and television outreach supported by a coalition of NGOs associated with the Forum for Life, with the message, "Life is beautiful. Protect it from conception". The campaign also included billboards, leaflet distribution, a white ribbon show of solidarity and a screening of the movie Bella.
Romania, which has the highest abortion rate in the European Union and the second highest in Europe, had a large March For Life with three simultaneous marches in the cities of Bucharest, Timisoara and Satu Mare to "Say yes to life". The march was organized by a joint action of over 20 pro-vita and pro-family NGOs and religious groups.
Peru had a celebration where 40,000 people come out to march for life in celebration of the Day of the Unborn Child. At a mass Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren of Piura urged Peruvians to "be committed to building a culture of life, which must begin with heeding the voice of every unborn child".
Lawmakers in Argentina used the day to hold legislative discussion on the humanity of the child which was filmed and placed on the web.
In the United States, there has not been any official Church or government declarations in regard to this day.
However, the pro-life movement has begun to give attention to it. In various years, pro-life organizations have issued joint statements
and conducted joint projects in observance of this special day, such as in 2019 when the Day of the Unborn Child initiated a nine-month educational project
about the development of the baby in the womb, and in 2022, when a coalition of pro-life groups is calling for its observance.
Why March 25?
March 25, which is nine months before the
celebration of the Birth of Christ, is the Annunciation, when Jesus was
conceived within the body of the Virgin Mary as she accepted her call to be
the Mother of God.
The Magisterium’s most comprehensive statement on the
sanctity of life, the encyclical
Evangelium Vitae, was issued on March 25, 1995, the Solemnity of the
Annunciation. This feast marks the moment at which the Incarnation took
place. At Mary’s "Fiat," God began existing in a human nature - a human
nature at the earliest stages of its development within Mary’s body.
"Mary’s consent at the Annunciation and her
motherhood stand at the very beginning of the mystery of life which Christ
came to bestow on humanity" (Evangelium Vitae, 102).
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.
We pray that the pastors of the Church will lead
their congregations in special pro-life observances on this Solemnity each
Suggested Activities for Churches, Groups and Individuals to Observe the Day of the Unborn Child
Annunciation: A Feast of Life
Pro-Life Leaders Call for Annunciation Celebration
A special prayer vigil for life was held in Rome on March 24, 2015 for
the 20th Anniversary of Evangelium Vitae
Statement by Catholic and Pro-Life leaders that the Annunciation is a significant pro-life feast. (2002)
Evangelium Vitae Study Guide
Reflection by Pope John Paul II on the Annunciation
Reflections by Fr. Frank Pavone on the significance of this Feast: First reflection and Second reflection
Day of the Unborn Child - Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood
Annunciation homily by Fr. Denis Wilde, OSA
Reflections by Fr. Charles Byrd, Georgia
The Day of the Unborn Child by Fr. Frank Pavone (Newsmax, 2019)
March 25, The Day of the Unborn Child by Fr. Frank Pavone (The Wanderer, 2022)
Something to Celebrate: The Day of the Unborn Child by Fr. Frank Pavone (Catholic Online, 2022)
My Heart Beats Just Like Yours Campaign
Observe March 25th with a journey through the nine months of pregnancy, until Christmas Day, with prayer, outreach, and education, so that people may learn about the development of the unborn child.
A special prayer for this Feast:
Redeemer in the Womb
Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that when Mary, your Mother, said
“Yes” at the Annunciation, You took our human nature upon Yourself. You
shared our life and death, our childhood and adulthood.
You also shared our time in the womb. While still God, while worshiped and
adored by the angels, while Almighty and filling every part of the universe,
You dwelt for nine months in the womb of Mary. You were our Redeemer in the
womb, our God who was a preborn child.
Lord Jesus, we ask You to bless and protect the children who today are in
their mothers’ womb. Save them from the danger of abortion.
Give their mothers the strength, like Mary, to say “Yes” to you. Give them
grace to sacrifice themselves, in body and soul, for their children.
Help all people to recognize in the preborn child a brother, a sister, saved
by You, our Redeemer in the womb, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
Redentor en el Vientre
Señor Jesucristo, te damos gracias porque cuando María, tu Madre,
dijo "sí" en la Anunciación, tu tomaste nuestra naturaleza humana en ti
mismo. Compartiste nuestra vida y nuestra muerte, nuestra infancia y
También compartiste nuestro tiempo en el vientre. Siendo Dios,
adorado por los ángeles, siendo Todopoderoso y llenando cada parte del
universo, Tú habitaste por nueve meses en el vientre de María. Fuiste
nuestro Redentor en el vientre, nuestro Dios, que era un niño no nacido.
Señor Jesús, te pedimos que bendigas y protejas a los niños que hoy
están en el vientre de sus madres. Sálvalos del peligro del aborto.
Dale a sus madres la fuerza, para que como María, te digan "Sí."
Dales la gracia de sacrificarse en cuerpo y alma, por sus hijos.
Ayuda a todas las personas a reconocer en el niño no nacido a un
hermano, una hermana, salvado por ti, nuestro Redentor en el vientre, que
vives y reinas por los siglos de los siglos. Amén.