March 25th has been set aside as the International Day of the Unborn Child.
The date to recognise the most vulnerable, and the smallest among us was chosen to coincide with the Feast of the Annunciation – the incarnation of Jesus Christ in the womb of Mary. March 25 is exactly nine months prior to the celebration of the birth of Jesus on December 25th, Christmas Day.
El Salvador was the first to celebrate such a day in 1993, naming it the “Day of the Right to be Born”. However, it was in 1999, that the President of Argentina declared March 25th the “Day of the Unborn Child,” instigating the first official celebration of the weakest and most vulnerable human beings.
Saint Pope John Paul II fully supported the initiative and encouraged the spread of the celebration throughout the world. In 1999 this great defender of human life sent a message of support from the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Argentinians. In that message, he reiterated the Church’s teaching regarding the dignity of human life.
“The Catholic Church sees in the attacks against human life a grave offense against the Creator (cf. Gaudium et Spes)” he said. “In this sense, I have not spared any efforts in proclaiming the value and inviolable character of life”.
He went on to say, “…I wished to reaffirm this doctrine and launch my appeal, from the Basilica of Guadalupe, to banish for ever every attack against life and to express the hope at the same time that ‘the continent of hope’ will also be the continent of life…a life that is worthy for all! With our sight on the now approaching Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, I express my best wishes that the celebration of ‘The Day of the Unborn Child’ will favour a positive choice in favour of life and the development of a culture in this direction which will assure the promotion of human dignity in every situation”.
Unborn children are often not afforded the same rights as those who are born. Often their perceived value and right to life are tied to the wants and desires of the mother who carries the child in her womb. Yet, dignity, and worth rightfully belong to unborn children simply because they exist and are members of the human family.
What is forgotten in the slogans and discussions about woman’s rights is that they are us. Unborn children are part of the human family and must be loved, protected, and nurtured from the very first moment of their existence. We reap what we sow.
The Day of the Unborn Child is a day to remember all children who are hidden in their mother’s wombs, to celebrate their lives, to recommit to protecting them, and to advocate against the violence of abortion.
Make today, the Day of the Unborn Child, count for the multitude of little ones in the womb whose lives are not valued or thought to be worthy of life and who are destined to become victims of the violence of abortion.
Further Reading about the Day of the Unborn Child
Celebrating the Day of the Unborn Child
Father Shenan J. Boquet, Human Life International
Day of the Unborn Child
Website dedicated to the Day of the Unborn Child with information, resources, and events.
Day of the Unborn Child
PONTIFICIUM OPUS A SANCTA INFANTIA (The Pontifical Association of the Holy Childhood)