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1. Begin on the March 25th Annunciation feast of Christ's Conception
Join the program in progress.
2. Choose a favorite pro-life prayer--for example, , Prayer to Christ Unborn, or other prayer directed toward protection of pre-born children, such as: Dear Lord, guide and protect all mothers and fathers of unborn children who are tempted to abort a baby to spare themselves and their families the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy--let both parents see that the child in the womb is now the heart of their family, and that abortion is the ultimate trauma. Help them recognize that the eternal soul entrusted to them in this new life is God's greatest gift.
3. Pray daily--or--every 25th of the month. If praying daily mark each 25th in some way--plan a special activity or pray for a specific pro-life intention that changes each month (suggestions below). For example, on this day spend extra time in prayer, attend church services, or arrange group prayer--in good weather spend part of the day outdoors, pray in your garden, read the Bible in a park or scenic area, or plan a drive to visit a shrine or country chapel. It is easier to remember to pray daily, but if you are praying each 25th, mark every 25th on your calendar and set electronic reminders if possible, or to receive monthly "9 Months 4 Life" prayer intentions click here to follow March25info on Twitter or here for AnnunciationDayMarch25 on Facebook.
4. If desired, choose a focus for your nine months of prayer with a specific intention for each month (see the suggested options below).
Note: "9 Months 4 Life" Spiritual Adoption is an ideal way to begin a "25th-of-the-Month-Club"-- promoting pro-life activities year-round on the 25th of every month, with a special emphasis on the Annunciation (planning Day Of The Unborn Child events), and Christmas (having a holiday "baby shower" item drive for the needy). Click here for more ideas on starting a "25th-of-the-Month-Club."
Click one of the following categories for nine monthly prayer intentions for the "9 Months 4 Life" (from March 25th to December 25):
9 Months For Life--Monthly Prayer Intentions For:
Pray each month for the general intention of the unborn child's safety--use a Spiritual Adoption prayer such as the If desired, add a specific petition for each of the nine months (see suggested monthly intentions below.), or choose one of the following three addressed to each person of the Holy Trinity (the part in brackets is prayed on the first day only).
Spiritual Adoption Prayers to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Dear Father in heaven, as we contemplate the day of Christ's conception and his prenatal life, [select from all your precious children one who is in danger of abortion]; keep my spiritually adopted child safe throughout and beyond this period of prayer as we progress through these nine months. Guide and protect the child's mother and father who may be tempted to abort their baby to spare themselves and their families the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy--let both parents see this child in the womb as the newest member of their family, abortion as the ultimate trauma, and every human life as a gift.
Lord Jesus, on this day we thank you for the incomparable gift of yourself in the Incarnation--the eternal Word and Son of God made flesh at the Annunciation in the Virgin Mary's womb--sharing and sanctifying our humble human journey from conception. Please [choose for me a vulnerable unborn child, and] keep my precious spiritual foster son or daughter, whose potential is known only to you, safe from the threat of abortion and all harm throughout and beyond these nine months of spiritual adoption.
Come Holy Spirit as we celebrate Christ's conception--keep us mindful of this moment of Incarnation and the import of his prenatal life; we ask you to look upon and bless an endangered child in the womb--a child unknown to us, whose name is known to you. Accept my prayer to keep this child chosen by you safe from abortion and all harm, and help me to keep this child in mind and in prayer throughout this nine-month period of spiritual adoption.
Monthly Intentions for Spiritual Adoption
March 25th (Annunciation Day Opening Prayer): As we begin the first month of spiritual adoption celebrating the day Christ was conceived, we contemplate the eternal destiny of every human life from the moment of conception, and we pray for the salvation and spiritual welfare of this child and his or her family.
April: In the second month of spiritual adoption we pray for continual healthy development for the child, and an uncomplicated pregnancy for the mother--that she will receive all the loving assistance she needs during this time.
May: In the third month of spiritual adoption, we pray for a pro-life physician who will care for both the mother and child as patients, and direct all medical actions toward safeguarding their lives and health, including those in high-risk pregnancies and the commonly termed "hard cases."
June: In the fourth month of spiritual adoption we pray for wise counsel and support from clergy, advisers, friends, relatives and grandparents who will recognize the child as a new member of the family.
July: In the fifth month of spiritual adoption we pray that the child's father will encourage and facilitate the mother's life-affirming choice, and be willing to act as a responsible provider.
August: In the sixth month of spiritual adoption we pray for both parents’ emotional welfare and maturation toward making good decisions and modeling good behavior for their child.
September: In the seventh month of spiritual adoption we pray that the parents be guided by the Holy Spirit in considering legal adoption as an option for their child, and if they so choose, that the right family will be selected for this particular child.
October: In the eighth month of spiritual adoption we pray for a safe, smooth delivery for mother and child, and for proper care during the post-natal period especially for those with conditions of prematurity or physical challenge.
November: In the ninth month of pregnancy we pray for this child's upbringing. We ask that he or she will continue to be safe from harm and provided for spiritually and materially--born into and raised in a moral faith-filled environment and guided to become everything he or she was intended to be from the very beginning.
December 25th (Christmas Closing Prayer): As we celebrate the feast of the Nativity and close this year's nine months of spiritual adoption prayer begun on the March 25th Annunciation feast of Christ's conception, we give thanks for the safe deliverance of the newborn Jesus endangered by King Herod, and for the safe delivery of all endangered children born during this time, particularly those who have been spiritually adopted.
[Also visit the Spiritual Adoption section of our Ideas page for more info--including additional suggestions for monthly bulletin inserts and a closing baby shower item drive.]
9 Months For Life--Monthly Prayer Intentions For:
March 25th (Annunciation Day Opening Prayer): Beginning on this March 25th Feast of the Annunciation honoring Christ's conception, and for the nine months until Christmas, we pray to uphold the sanctity of human life, and for the protection of every pre-born and newborn child from the first moment of his or her creation--that each will be recognized by parents and society as a member of the human family. This month we pray in particular for newly conceived children in their first month of life, including the youngest embryos in the oft-forgotten phase before implantation whose mothers do not yet know they are with child, and especially those vulnerable to so-called "emergency" and "morning after" forms of abortifacient birth control.
April: During these nine months from Annunciation to Christmas we pray to uphold the sanctity of every human life from the moment of creation--and this month we pray in particular for those targeted in the early weeks of pregnancy by all forms of the abortion pill.
May: During these nine months from Annunciation to Christmas we pray to uphold the sanctity of every human life from the moment of creation--and this month we pray in particular for those in the first few months of pregnancy who are vulnerable to the most common forms of surgical abortion.
June: During these nine months from Annunciation to Christmas we pray to uphold the sanctity of every human life from the moment of creation--and this month we pray in particular for protection of unborn children from accidental death as by miscarriage, and from exposure to disproportionate or undisclosed risks to life and health in the environmental, medical, and occupational settings.
July: During these nine months from Annunciation to Christmas we pray to uphold the sanctity of every human life from the moment of creation--and this month we pray in particular for those in the mid stages of pregnancy vulnerable to later forms of abortion by injection of chemicals into the womb as in saline abortions or induction of premature labor before viability.
August: During these nine months from Annunciation to Christmas we pray to uphold the sanctity of every human life from the moment of creation--and this month we pray in particular for the welfare and protection of mothers and unborn children in high risk and "hard case" pregnancies, including mothers with serious health complications, babies in danger after prenatal diagnosis or mere suspicion of handicaps, and pregnancies resulting from abuse.
September: During these nine months from Annunciation to Christmas we pray to uphold the sanctity of every human life from the moment of creation--and this month we pray in particular for the protection of women from abortion-directed advice or pressure and from governments that practice coerced or forced abortion, and for the conversion of those tempted to counsel or compel in this way either through self-centeredness or misguided compassion.
October: During these nine months from Annunciation to Christmas we pray to uphold the sanctity of every human life from the moment of creation--and this month we pray in particular for protection from all forms of late-term abortion including partial-birth abortions, and for medical care for babies who survive an abortion but are in danger of death by direct killing or denial of lifesaving treatment.
November: During these nine months from Annunciation to Christmas we pray to uphold the sanctity of every human life from the moment of creation--and this month we pray in particular for those about to be born who are in danger of postnatal infanticide or fatal abandonment, that they will be safely placed for adoption or at one of the designated no-questions-asked "safe havens" for newborns.
December 25th (Christmas Closing Prayer): We close this year's "Nine Months for Life" from the March 25th Annunciation to Christmas by recalling with gratitude the birth of the infant Christ--turned away at the inn but given safe haven in a humble stable and delivered from the threats of King Herod. Mindful of this mysterious act of God's providence, we give thanks for the safe delivery of all the children born throughout these past nine months of prayer--may the Lord continue to safely guide them throughout their lives toward their eternal home.
9 Months For Life--Monthly Prayer Intentions For:
March 25th (Annunciation Day Opening Prayer): On this day as we contemplate that awe-inspiring moment Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and begin this nine month journey of prayer through his prenatal life, we offer our Praise for the divine Word made flesh in the unparalleled gift of the Incarnation, and for His choice to experience and sanctify all the prenatal stages from the first moment of embryonic life. We offer our Thanksgiving for God's love expressed in the sacrificial humility of becoming man for our salvation, and for giving us the unique opportunity to gently teach even young children respect for life in the womb as we teach them about Christ's divine conception. Let us offer our Service in bringing others to see the wonder of God becoming Incarnate in the little town of Nazareth in a young virgin's womb as Jesus Christ our savior, and by offering help for expectant mothers who conceive in difficult or extraordinary circumstances, particularly those who are young and unmarried. Amen.
April: This month we offer Praise for God the Father's willingness to give his divine Son to us as a tiny embryo hidden from man's eyes for nine months and nearly unnoticed for thirty years--vulnerable to suffering and death for the sake of our salvation and ultimately resurrected from the dead as the reason for our hope. We offer Thanksgiving for the Father's choice of Mary as his mother, whose virginity revealed his divinity, and who modeled the Christian response for all generations to come as she gratefully accepted God's will, and despite the challenges of this awesome blessing still looked outward in rushing to aid her elder and once barren cousin Elizabeth whom the angel had said was in her sixth month of pregnancy. Finally, let us offer Service in reaching out to help others regardless of our own circumstances, particularly the elderly, members of our own extended family, and pregnant women who face special challenges such as bearing children later in life. Amen.
May: This month we offer Praise for God's providence in bringing together through their mothers the newly-conceived Christ and the unborn John the Baptist who was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb" and "leapt for joy" within Elizabeth the moment she heard the voice of Mary carrying the unborn Jesus. (Luke 1:13-15, & 39-44) We offer Thanksgiving for the life-affirming symbolism inherent in this first prenatal meeting of Jesus and John recorded in Scripture, and for the inspiration we find in Elizabeth's humble faith allowing her the pure vision to recognize Mary's tiny unborn child as her "Lord" though her eyes had not yet seen. Let us offer Service in finding our place to help in the lives of others--not only family and friends, but even those we cannot see whether it be the child in the womb or the poor in a faraway land. Let us know how best to serve, when to give, and when to receive. With every pregnant woman we aid and encounter, may we ourselves recognize and then help her to see the life within her as the beating heart of a new family. Amen.
June: This month we offer Praise for God's wisdom in choosing the once barren Elizabeth to be the mother of John the Baptist after she had passed the childbearing age, revealing both his power and mercy. We offer Thanksgiving for the newborn prophet John and the example of Elizabeth's embrace of motherhood later in life, and for the Lord's mercy shown to her doubtful husband Zechariah in making his imposed period of silence only temporary as a time for reflection--presenting him as an example of redemption for those slow to accept God's will and welcome new life. Let us offer Service in doing our best to welcome and live out the message of God's prophets even when we are challenged by their words, and in showing patience toward those who find it hard to believe, as we help the doubtful overcome their fear, to embrace and find peace in his will. Amen.
July: This month we offer Praise to God for having sent Mary to Elizabeth these three months, not only for the practical help she provided, but in order that the unborn savior and soon-to-be-born prophet should have this mysterious meeting and time together in the same household. We offer Thanksgiving to God for guiding Mary to transition from one calling to the next as the birth of John signaled her return to Nazareth carrying the unborn Jesus to his foster father Joseph where they would fulfill their destiny caring for the young Christ. And let us offer Service in helping others to know when to leave family and serve God in a new way, and to help young mothers and fathers transition to the vocations of marriage and parenthood. Amen.
August: This month we offer Praise for God's choice of Joseph as a strong but humble head of the Holy Family and model for fathers, wrestling with an imperfect understanding yet open to God's will, and retaining the simplicity to trust His reassurance, given by an angel in a dream, to take Mary returning with child as his wife and reject the cynicism that passes for worldly wisdom. We offer Thanksgiving for the precious example of healthy Christian marriages in which both husband and wife receive the gift of a spouse willing to trust God even when we can't comprehend the full meaning behind life's trials and mystery--and for Joseph as a timeless model of mercy, trust and protectiveness to show men of varied cultures and ages how women should be treated. Let us offer Service in helping young people value and recognize the virtues needed in a wife, husband or parent to embody the true love of Christian family life, and in showing them how to live and reflect those qualities themselves while seeking them in a future spouse. Amen.
September: This month we offer Praise to God for helping the newly married Mary and Joseph return to the quiet yet noble practice of the seemingly mundane duties of everyday life after the Annunciation and Visitation's dramatic transformation of their lives, anticipating the wondrous impending birth still before them without drawing attention to themselves, and trusting in God's continuing guidance while patiently enduring the inevitable misunderstandings and misjudgments of others. We offer Thanksgiving for God's choice to exemplify patience and humility under extraordinary and even inversely unjust circumstances through Mary and Joseph, reminding us that husband and wife need to be each other's refuge in a world that lacks sympathy and understanding. And let us offer Service in helping newlyweds adapt to their state in life as the excitement of the wedding fades into daily realities; in encouraging men to be supportive husbands attentive to their wives emotional and physical needs as pregnancy advances; and in providing a Christian example of how spouses should treat each other and practical advice on safeguarding a child's welfare before and after the birth as they prepare for the responsibilities of parenthood. Amen.
October: This month we offer Praise for God's guidance to Joseph who recognized the time to obey worldly authority even when difficult for himself and his expectant wife Mary as they prepared for the long journey ordered by the census, but who also heeded an angel's later warning to escape from unjust authority in the form of King Herod's evil decrees and flee to Egypt to protect the infant Christ--and also for God's guidance to the Magi willing to follow a star on a dangerous journey that other authorities, "wise" men and kings might call foolish. We offer Thanksgiving for the gift of discernment to recognize what is and is not legitimate exercise of authority--and for teaching all classes to put God's will first in living out true wisdom, through the examples of both a simple carpenter twice taking an angel's advice over man's, and the distinguished "wise" men who God warned in a dream not to return with information for the treacherous Herod but rather to take a different, and likely harder, path home. Let us offer Service in being open to God's will even when it conflicts with worldly expectations, conventions, or our own comfort, and to help parents stand strong against authorities who pressure them to act against God's will or professionals who insist abortion is their only choice. Amen.
November: This month we offer Praise to God for inviting all walks of life to witness and take part in salvation history--for choosing a modest carpenter to guide Mary and the unborn Christ on the hard journey to Bethlehem, and for inviting eminent wise men from far lands and simple shepherds nearby on this first pilgrimage--the poor and the privileged called together by the same star. We offer Thanksgiving for teaching us that bonds of faith transcend divisions of class, and for giving us the models of Mary and Joseph's trust in God, the Magi's humility in their willingness to honor a distant newborn king, and the shepherds' obedience in heeding the angel's call to put fear aside and come rejoice. Let us offer Service as we help those unexpectedly pregnant find faith to light their way and reveal hidden blessings on this unknown path--as we bring our gifts to aid them according to our state in life whether it be a king's gold, a carpenter's skill, or simply our consoling presence--and as we challenge our modern "wise men" of science and medicine to rediscover that humbling awe and protective reverence we should all feel contemplating the tiny embryo's creation as the true beginning of human life. Amen.
December 25th (Christmas Closing Prayer): In closing this nine months' journey through the prenatal hidden life of Christ, we offer: Praise to the Father for sending his son to save us--God-made-flesh revealed to human eyes in the most humble surroundings--with representatives of all humanity and even the lowly animals of the manger as witnesses representing the whole of creation called to rejoice in this ultimate work of divine providence. We offer a prayer of Thanksgiving: For the newborn savior safely delivered from the indifference of innkeepers who would make no room and rescued from the ruthlessness of Herod's self-serving slaughter of innocents; For Christianity's recognition of the divine in a tiny poverty-born child; And for the privilege granted to Christians as the documented champions of infants as persons, rescuing countless abandoned babies throughout history from the times of the Roman Empire to today, and in the process, saving entire civilizations from the formerly accepted ancient practice of infanticide and a culture of death. Finally, let us offer our Service--in recommitting ourselves to work for the safe deliverance of all similarly threatened children born and unborn, and in permitting ourselves to be guided by the hand of providence in our own lives, recognizing and heeding the message when God is coming to our rescue. Amen.
If you’ve missed the feast day you can still participate in and promote the feast in several ways. For example, you might propose or offer to help with an event for next year by contacting a local church or pro-life group. If the holiday season is approaching see "Highlighting the Christmas Connection" in our Ideas page for suggestions on using web banners, cards, gifts, and all your December mailings to promote awareness of the feast that falls nine months before Christmas. Whatever the season, any Christian prayer group can propose the Annunciation as a focus of thanks and praise for the gift of the Incarnation. Individuals can also introduce the theme into public prayer--for example, if praying the Rosary always remember to add a brief description when announcing the first joyful mystery "The Annunciation" such as, "--when Christ was conceived" or "--the Word was made flesh," to provide a fuller appreciation of what happened on that occasion and a more profound meditation.
Join a Local Spiritual Adoption Program in Progress:
If you find a local church or organization is having an Annunciation-to-Christmas Spiritual Adoption program, you may be able to join it in progress--by obtaining copies of the printed materials and/or signing a pledge slip, or more informally by simply following monthly prayer intentions in the church bulletin/newsletter. You may also be able to participate in or join the congregation for a closing baby-shower/item-drive at Christmastime. Though you can always begin Spiritual Adoption on your own at any time following the monthly intentions above, joining an official program has the advantage of fellowship and increased participation that will encourage the continuation of the program the following year. Click here for more on “Spiritual Adoption.”
25th of the Month Club:
Click the following link for more information on starting a "Twenty-Fifth of the Month Club" dedicated to understanding and promoting the feast of the Annunciation/Incarnation and its relation to Christmas year-round with special prayers or activities for each 25th of the month.
Novena (Nine) Masses for the Nine Months from Annunciation to Christmas:
The "9 Months 4 Life" prayers and intentions can also be used for each mass of monthly Pro-Life Novena (nine) masses from the Annunciation feast to the Christmas season.
For additional meditations/reflections for the nine months from the Annunciation to Christmas also see the Annunciation Society's 9 Monthly Bulletin Inserts following the journey of Christ's prenatal life.