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Building a Culture of Life: The Memorial to the Unborn

As January 22 again approaches, the Church in the United States lifts her voice in prayer for the protection of the unborn. Despite the overturning this past June of Roe v. Wade, much remains to be done to bring about a change in the cultural atmosphere.

Because the 22nd falls this year on a Sunday, the date of the National March for Life has been transferred to Friday, January 20. The March itself will take place from 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M., with a rally and other events throughout the day. For a full schedule, visit the March for Life website. This March draws many thousands to the nation’s capital every year. In addition, state Marches for Life take place in other cities across the country.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, too, takes part in this mission of building a culture of life, especially through the Memorial to the Unborn. This Memorial offers spiritual healing for families of children who have died in the womb or at birth. The babies may be memorialized there, either by having their remains entombed or by the inscription of name and date on the limestone walls. At the entrance sits the statue of the Mother of the Unborn, a depiction of Our Lady of Guadalupe cradling three tiny unborn children. The Memorial also features four bronze plaques, displaying excerpts from the writings of Pope Saint John Paul II on contraception, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and the dignity of human life.

In the words of his Eminence Cardinal Burke: “The Memorial to the Unborn eloquently expresses the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe: God’s all-merciful love toward all of His children from the moment of their conception. Even as God Himself chose to be conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, as the first moment of His greatest act of love of us, so He has taught us the inviolable dignity of all human life. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Star of the New Evangelization, is, in a particular way, the Mother of the Unborn.”

That message of all-merciful love is not only the animating force behind everything at Our Lady’s Shrine, but the remedy for our world. By imitating Our Lady in bringing God’s love to souls, her children will “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21) and truly build a culture of life in our society.