The Most Reverend Stefan Soroka, Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, has issued a pastoral letter for the Feast of the Annunciation, which he termed the “pro-life feast day.”
Metropolitan Stefan writes,
From this feast, we also learn a basic truth of human existence. Human life begins at conception. Each of us began our human journey in the womb of our mother. It is a fact of life, that a child once conceived, will naturally mature to birth when he or she will no longer need the sanctuary of a mother’s womb.
That all human life begins at conception is not only a teaching of the Church but it is also a known reality from human experience.
This reality is beautifully expressed in the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you.” (Jer.1:5)
And in our Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, we hear this truth expressed in the Commemoration prayer after the invocation of the Holy Spirit upon the Gifts: “O God, Who know the age and name of each, Who know each from their mother’s womb.”
Sadly, in our present day and age, we often hear distortions of human reality to deny that human life begins at conception. These false and erroneous teachings have become part of our culture and wrongly accepted by many in our society.
As people of faith, may this Feast of the Annunciation become our pro-life feast day and may we always defend and nurture as sacred all human life from the moment of conception, recalling another verse our mothers and Babas taught us “Blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.”
The Feast of the Annunciation, celebrated on Monday, March 25, is a major feast in the Ukrainian Catholic Church and is a Holy Day of obligation for the faithful. This Feast Day is celebrated with the Divine Liturgy even if it should fall on Good Friday and commemorated on Pascha (Feast of the Resurrection) in the Ukrainian Catholic Church.