Day of the unborn child

Growing up in St. Gabriel parish and the parish school, I remember March 24th, the archangel's traditional feast day, as being a big deal. And it was no accident that his feast day was observed on the day before the feast of the Annunciation, March 25th, which celebrates the angel Gabriel's appearance to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), his announcement that the Blessed Virgin had been chosen to be the Mother of Our Lord, and Mary's fiat—her willing acceptance of God's holy plan. And how did folks back in the seventh century arrive at March 25th as the date to mark the Annunciation? Well, it's nine months before the feast of Christmas.

Some of this stuff has fallen by the cultural wayside even within the Catholic Church.  For instance, St. Gabe, as we always referred to him at our school, no longer has his own feast day, but is instead lumped together with his brother archangels Michael and Raphael for a joint feast day on September 29th. And I'm not aware of much emphasis any more on the Annunciation as a solemnity, i.e., a principal holy day in the Catholic liturgical calendar.

But in some places at least, March 25th is celebrated—as the Day of the Unborn Child.