In the liturgical year, the conception of Jesus in the womb of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord. Nine months later, on December 25, we celebrate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The baby conceived on March 25 is the same baby born on December 25. His name is Jesus from the first moment of his conception, as we all know.
Cardinal Francis George, OMI (link)
“Children have the right to be conceived, … brought into the world and brought up within marriage. In societies with a noble tradition of defending the rights of all their members, one would expect this fundamental right of children to be given priority over any supposed right of adults to impose on them alternative models of family life and certainly over any supposed right to abortion. Since the family is ‘the first and indispensable teacher of peace’, the most reliable promoter of social cohesion and the best school of the virtues of good citizenship, it is in the interests of all, and especially of governments, to defend and promote stable family life”.
Pope Benedict XVI to Scandinavian Bishops (25 March 2010)
Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes.
In 1858, in the grotto of Massabielle, near Lourdes in southern France, Our Lady appeared 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous, a young peasant girl.
She revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception, asked that a chapel be built on the site of the vision, and told the girl to drink from a fountain in the grotto. No fountain was to be seen, but when Bernadette dug at a spot designated by the apparition, a spring began to flow. The water from this still flowing spring has shown remarkable healing power, though it contains no curative property that science can identify.
Lourdes has become the most famous modern shrine of Our Lady and has as many as 6 million pilgrims every year. 67 miraculous cures have been officially recognized and confirmed and one miraculous healing is reported every week. For more info click here and here. Below is a clip from the fireworks display in honor of the Memorial.