Read the text of Prayer to Christ Unborn
Read the text of Prayer to Christ in His Hidden and Public Life
New: Informational Brochures on March 25th featuring both prayers
Dear Lord Jesus in the womb
of Blessed Virgin Mary,
before your birth You filled
the unborn Baptist
with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
Inspire us to see You
in every unborn child.
Grant us the perseverance
to defend vulnerable human life
from abortion, abandonment,
experimentation, and all violations.
Fill us with reverence for the moment
of your Incarnation in Nazareth
when the Word became flesh.
Celebrate the March 25th Feast of the Annunciation
(Festum Incarnationis) as the “Day of the Unborn Child”
Lk 1:15, 30-44; '94 Cat., pass. 717, 486, 495
In His Hidden and Public Life
Christ in the womb of Mary,
save the unborn and bless their defenders.
Christ the child, shield the innocent
and uphold those who guide them.
Christ the adolescent, lead our impressionable
youth and sanctify their role models.
Christ the worker, strengthen all who toil for subsistence
and inspire fairness and honesty in the workplace.
Christ the teacher, help us learn charity,
gratitude, and forgiveness in place of
indulgence, ignorance, and arrogance.
Christ the healer, imbue the medical and scientific
community with a full respect for every human life.
Christ crucified, comfort the afflicted
and soften hardened hearts.
Christ resurrected, save us all.
The March 25th Remembrance Precedes Christmas by
Nine Months--the Length of a Full-Term Pregnancy
Free cards at DayOfTheUnbornChild.com
Señor Jesucristo Por Nacer
Querido Señor Jesús en el vientre
de nuestra bendita Virgen Maria,
antes de tu nacimiento llenaste
a Juan el Bautista por nacer
con el gozo del Espíritu Santo.
Inspíranos para que te veamos
en cada niño sin nacer.
Regálanos la perseverancia para defender
la vulnerable vida humana del aborto, abandono,
experimentación, y todas las transgresiones.
Llénanos de reverencia por el momento
de tu Encarnación en Nazaret,
cuando el verbo se hizo carne.
Marzo 25 (Nueve Meses Antes de Navidad)
Fiesta de la Anunciación (Festum Incarnationis)
Lc 1,15.30-44; Cat. Igl. año 1994, #717, 486, 495
Privada y en su Vida Publica
Cristo en el vientre de Maria,
Salva a los no nacidos y bendice a sus defensores.
Cristo niño, proteje a los inocentes
y sostiene a los que los guían.
Cristo adolescente, dirige a nuestra juventud
fácilmente influenciable y santifica a sus ídolos.
Cristo trabajador, fortalece a todos los
que batallan para subsistir e inspira justicia
y honestidad en los centros de trabajo.
Cristo maestro, ayúdanos a aprender caridad,
gratitud y perdón en lugar de
indulgencia, ignorancia y arrogancia.
Cristo sanador, imbuye a la comunidad científica
y medica, con un respeto total de cada vida humana.
Cristo crucificado, conforta al afligido
y ablanda nuestros duros corazones.
Cristo resucitado, sálvanos a todos.
These prayers were written in the hope that a renewed reverence for and awareness of the prenatal life of Christ will engender a new respect for the life of all unborn children. The prayer cards with their notations on March 25th also encourage celebration and/or church attendance on the oft-forgotten Feast of the Annunciation, whose earlier names clearly indicated the principal feast of the Incarnation nine months before the Nativity in Bethlehem. The first prayer to "Christ Unborn" focuses directly on the life of the unborn Christ and is a petition for help in fighting the culture of death, while the second (to "Christ in His Hidden and Public Life") simply begins with his prenatal life as part of a continuum leading to his Resurrection and addresses many serious problems facing humanity today. The prayers have received many positive responses--the most notable of which was an appreciative acknowledgement from Pope John Paul II after copies were sent to him at the Vatican. The cards have been requested by churches and organizations for local distribution and are currently supplied to The Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for use in their mailings to raise funds for an ascendable monument and Shrine of the Holy Innocents in memory of abortion victims. Since 2002 thousands of prayer cards have been distributed and requests have come from every populated continent.
The seed of inspiration for these prayers can be found in the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Observant visitors will find a plaque there that identifies it as the site where the Incarnation took place. As pointed out in professor John Saward’s “Redeemer in the Womb,” the inscription reads: "Verbum caro hic factum est"--"the Word was made flesh here" -- (scroll down the linked article on cloning to the paragraph The Moment God Became Man for Saward's description). This shouldn’t be a revelation for those who accept Christ as God made man, particularly if they are active in the pro-life movement. And yet, the insightful pro-life Christian writer Randy Alcorn of Eternal Perspective Ministries contends that 99 percent of Christians asked where the Incarnation took place will answer incorrectly. With the commercialization of Christmas, it has become difficult even to focus on the Nativity in Bethlehem, which is relatively easy to picture in one’s mind. How much more difficult it is to remember and reflect upon an event that took place unseen within the womb of Mary. The plaque in the Annunciation church provides a rare opportunity for an essential insight into the meaning of the Incarnation. But few Christians will ever visit the church, and even those time constrained pilgrims who stop to read the inscription may not remember it among the blur of images and memories they retain from the Holy Land. Clearly there is a need for education. Rarely are we introduced to or reminded of the fact that the Incarnation was already accomplished when Mary hurried to visit her cousin. Yet even one such occasion can have a powerful effect. The seed of knowledge planted over a year earlier in the Church of the Annunciation was brought to germination by a simple short intro to the Sunday readings in the church missalette, which explained that it was the newly conceived Christ who sanctified the unborn John the Baptist as their mothers greeted each other. The explication of the first meeting between Christ and John immediately illuminates and reinforces the meaning of the plaque in Nazareth, and these rediscovered foundational Christian truths resonate with a meaning that is profoundly pro-life. Had any efforts been made to bring this understanding into mainstream Christian culture? There were reflections on the infant Christ born in Bethlehem and presented in the temple, and some discussion of Christ as an older child found teaching in the temple. But what about the equally Biblical prenatal life of Christ? Meditation on various stages and aspects of Christ’s life (Christ the divine infant, Christ the child, Christ the worker) was a common practice, but where was the devotion to Christ unborn?
The first step was to search out a prayer that focused on the unborn Christ. Yet a determined Internet search yielded only one prayer with a reference to the unborn Christ in its title--a long litany with a broad focus, ill suited to general distribution. It seemed the prenatal life of Christ was a powerful pro-life tool that wasn’t being used. His enfleshment as a tiny embryo not only reflected the most humble Incarnation imaginable, but prophetically telegraphed the theological truth that was to be revealed as biological truth nearly 2000 years later as medical science confirmed that the life of an individual is a continuum that begins at the moment of fertilization. Christ began his human life at the logical beginning--conception, and in so doing he expressed solidarity with all human beings, and particularly with those unborn. For those who accept Christ’s divinity must realize that He could have eschewed these first nine months--He could have avoided childhood altogether and begun his earthly life as an adult. The fact that his prenatal life was part of the divine plan affirms the importance of this first stage of life for all humanity.
Further research failed to uncover a relevant prayer, but did reveal that the Incarnation in Nazareth was already commemorated with a day whose roots extended deep into the past back to the early centuries of Christianity appropriately celebrated nine months before Christmas--the March 25 Feast of the Annunciation, formerly known as the Feast of the Incarnation. Although still technically on the calendars of several major denominations, the feast and its meaning had fallen into obscurity through changes of name and minor fluctuations in the date. Another powerful weapon to advance the cause of life was there just waiting to be utilized. The practice needed only to be revived and broadened with an added emphasis on how the original Incarnational meaning coincides with the need to promote the modern pro-life understanding of conception.
“Prayer to Christ Unborn” was written to put a much-needed spotlight directly on the overlooked prenatal life of Christ for its own theological importance and as a supplement to pro-life education. The prayer was also intended to serve as a vehicle promoting the feast of March 25th--a day with the inherent potential to accomplish these same goals, by somewhat less direct but more dramatically symbolic means. The date of March 25 was wisely chosen by the early church and set relative to the celebration of Christ’s birth on December 25. It seemed essential to highlight the pro-life significance of the nine-month gestational interval, and so an appropriate notation was added at the end of the prayer. Pro-life parents understanding the significance of holidays and similar cultural practices (or lack thereof) began celebrating their children’s “First Days” nine months before their birthdays. Imagine the potential impact of an international annual celebration of Christ’s “first day.”
Indeed it had already been imagined. As these prayers were being written independent efforts were underway to promote the March 25th feast as “The Day of the Unborn Child” a celebration that encompassed but went beyond the Feast of the Annunciation in additionally seeking a secular recognition of the stage of life all human beings have in common--not everyone reaches old-age, adulthood, or adolescence--but we all have life before birth.
But the emphasis on prenatal life is needed to fill the present day void--a response to a cultural deficiency that has enabled all manner of attacks against the unborn. Ultimately to achieve the ultimate goal of equality, life before birth should be seen as part of the human life span, just one phase along a continuum from conception to natural death. Toward that end, another companion prayer was needed to put Christ’s prenatal life in context as part of what is often termed the hidden life of Christ ending at the start of his public ministry. “Prayer to Christ in His Hidden and Public Life” is a series of petitions to Christ in various aspects and phases of his human life seeking help for the problems most closely associated with that phase of life.
Now in final form printed back to back on cardstock, the prayers were sent to Pope John Paul II in Vatican City with a cover letter. Several weeks later in June of 2002 a reply came from the Vatican stating that the Holy Father had received the letter and expressed his thanks for sharing these prayers with him and appreciation for the concern in promoting respect for life. That encouragement began a distribution of thousands of prayer cards that have reached countries in six continents--mostly in association with the Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary which includes the cards with their mailings and promotional materials.
In 2004 the promotion of the March 25th Feast of the Annunciation as the “Day of the Unborn Child” began to register on the pro-life radar screen including articles in the Catholic press, favorable mentions in the mailings of right-to-life organizations, and March 25th informational tables at Lenten conferences. The promulgation of a “Prayer to Christ Unborn” emphasizing the feast of March 25th fit perfectly with this coinciding effort. After consulting with local representatives of the movement, new versions of the prayer cards were printed with an added reference to March 25th as the “Day of the Unborn Child.” It was a perfect alliance of two closely related causes, an alliance that led to the creation of this web site.
The files below can be used to print the prayers above (English and Spanish version) for back-to-back printing of both prayers. They are in MS Word format The files are formatted in landscape with a standard font text and slightly unequal in alignment to allow for non-printing edges--the result should produce eight cards per evenly cut 8 x 11 inch sheet, but individual printers may vary and adjustments may be needed: To download, right Click each link and select “save target as” and choose a location on your hard drive to save the file. Print out and cut one double-sided test copy on regular paper before printing the desired number of copies on more costly colored cardstock or heavyweight paper--the thin paper is easy to test for alignment (after printing simply fold into eight even sections to see if the text is contained in each, front and back). When printing the Word files, be sure to choose to print only page one of each file. When printing the MS Home Publishing files, there may be a warning that objects are in the non-printable area of the page--ignore and print a test page--it may be that only the edge of the non-printing text box is in the unprintable area. [Hint: You might try using pastel pink and blue cardstock for an attractive mix--the alternating colors make an eye-catching and baby-themed display fanned out on an info table--pink and blue mottled parchment cardstock works especially well].
MS Word Format:
The files below, in MS Word format, can be used year-round with or without prayer cards to promote the observance of March 25th at Christian conferences and pro-life events. The prayer text sign includes the “Prayer to Christ Unborn” and the website address. The text for the background information sign is as follows: March 25--Day of the Unborn Child (Nine Months Before Christmas)--Feast of the Annunciation/Incarnation: The March 25th Feast of the Annunciation has been celebrated since the 6th century A.D. Observed as New Year's Day until the late 16th century, and a holy day of obligation for Catholics till the end of the 19th, its previous titles Festum Incarnationis and Conceptio Christi (plus the pregnancy-length interval before Christmas) remind us that it commemorates Christ's Incarnation at the moment of His conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The modern world facing what Pope John Paul II termed the "culture of death" urgently needs the pro-life message inherent in this rich tradition. The Knights of Columbus promote the feast date as "Day of the Unborn Child" (a designation officially adopted in many nations) while other organizations (American Life League, Human Life International, Lutherans for Life, Priests for Life) encourage wider celebration of the Annunciation and its pro-life import. For more information on restoring this Incarnational feast to a place of prominence in the lives of all Christians please visit: DayOfTheUnbornChild.com
The two signs can be used together or stand alone. For flyer/placard style, print on quality paper or cardstock (color paper can be used) and post in a prominent place or bulletin board. For instructions on making a simple stand-up tent sign for an information or refreshment table, click here. For additional visual interest, an art print can be added to your display--as one of the most frequently encountered themes in Western art, there is an Annunciation artwork to suit most every taste and mood--also see the prints on our Further Reading page. Alternately for signs with combined text and graphics you can also print small signs with our colorful banner images (standard size paper--white for best results) from our Web Banners page.
When printing, if you see a warning that text/objects are in the unprintable area, ignore and print a test page--it may only be the edge of the non-printing text box that is outside the margin. To download, select the file link below for desired paper size and format, then right click the link and select “save target as” and choose a location on your hard drive to save the file:
MS Word Format:
For a quick and easy tent sign, start with a standard or legal size folder. If using no-pocket folders you may want to cut the protruding tab off--you can also gently bend the folder back the opposite way along the same fold line (it should now be inside out and this will help to keep it open on the table). Print one of the downloadable text files above or banner graphic sign files from our web banners page (two copies for double-sided signs) on quality paper or preferably cardstock for rigidity (a cream color paper will blend best with a standard buff-color folder--text only signs can be printed on color paper for contrast). Allow ink to dry fully, then use double-sided tape or spray adhesive on the back of each printed sheet and affix to folder with folded edge at top. Then cut a string 8 inches long and securely tape one end to each inner side of the folder (centered near the bottom) to prevent it from opening all the way. Signs can be used on feast day refreshment tables, prayer card displays at church entrances for Annunciation masses, or pro-life literature tables for Day of the Unborn Child events.
Note that the brochure files below print on standard size 8 1/2 x 11 sheets. They print in landscape format--notice when printing the first side whether the top prints at the left or right in your printer, so when reloading to print the other side, you can orient the paper the same way. Right-click to download each file.
Brochures on Annunciation/Day of the Unborn Child--MS Word Format: