The Saving of Babies and the Making of Saints


According to the norms currently in place in the Catholic Church, before someone is declared a saint, it is usually necessary to have two scientifically documented miracles obtained through the intercession of the person to be canonized. The miracles must be physical healings brought about by Divine intervention, must be beyond the ability of natural science to explain, and must be permanent.

Recently, Pope Paul VI was “beatified,” which is the step before canonization, and one miracle is required for that. Another well-known person whose cause for sainthood has been introduced and through whose intercession a miracle has also been reported is Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Both of these miracles involve the saving of children.

Monsignor Stanley Deptula of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, and director of the Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation, reported that in September 2010, a baby was born, but showed no signs of life for an hour after birth as medical professionals tried to revive him. The family prayed for Archbishop Sheen’s intercession, and the baby was restored to life. A team of doctors who examined the details of the case found no natural explanation for the baby’s revival.

In the case of the miracle attributed to Blessed Pope Paul VI, the National Catholic Register reported the following on May 10, 2014:

“The attributed miracle involves an unborn child, who was found to have a serious health problem that posed a high risk of brain damage, in the 1990s in California. The child’s bladder was damaged, and doctors reported ascites (the presence of liquid in the abdomen) and anhydramnios (absence of fluid in the amniotic sac). Physicians advised that the child be aborted, but the mother entrusted her pregnancy to the intercession of Pope Paul VI… The mother took the advice of a nun who was a friend of the family and had met Paul VI. The mother then prayed for Paul VI’s intercession using a fragment of the pope’s vestments that the nun had given her. Ten weeks later, the results of the medical tests showed a substantial improvement in the child’s health, and he was born by Caesarean section in the 39th week of pregnancy. He is now a healthy adolescent and considered to be completely healed.”

As the postulator of Paul VI’s cause for beatification, Redemptorist Father Antonio Marrazzo, the medical commission ruled that the healing is medically inexplicable.

The Lord speaks through miracles today just as he did in Biblical ages. And his message is always timely. Is there a reason that these miracles involve unborn and newborn children? Of course there is. God is speaking to a culture of abortion and infanticide. In showing his holiness, and the faithfulness of his saints, he is in that very act calling us to embrace life and build a Culture of Life. Children are at the center of God’s work, and that is why destroying children is at the center of Satan’s work. Honoring the saints means living the pro-life message they embraced, a message these miracles confirm.

Cardinal Dziwisz Dedicates Priests for Life Ministry to Saint John Paul II


Fr. Frank and Cardinal Dziwisz

Date: June 3, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma

NEW YORK, NY — As initially announced following the canonization of St. John Paul II, Priests for Life has dedicated our ministry and organization to his special protection.

This was carried out in two separate ceremonies during the week of May 19. At the monthly meeting of the entire pastoral team of Priests for Life on Wednesday, May 21, this dedication was made at the conclusion of Mass by Father Frank Pavone, National Director. But two days prior to that, Fr. Frank, along with Janet Morana, Executive Director, and several staff, were privileged to visit with Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was visiting in the United States. Cardinal Dziwisz was the longtime secretary and personal assistant to John Paul II.

The Cardinal himself prayed the prayer of dedication of the ministry of Priests for Life to the protection of St. John Paul II, and in that ceremony, the Cardinal presented to Fr. Frank and to the entire team of Priests for Life a first class relic of St. John Paul II.

In presenting the relic, the Cardinal said, “This relic of St. John Paul II is his blood, blood that was taken on the Saturday that he died. This blood is ever a symbol of love. May it signify our love for the family and for life, in defense above all of the lives of unborn children.” [See the letter of authentication]

The visit with the Cardinal was arranged in order to interview him for our Defending Life series on EWTN. The principal theme of the interview was the “Be Not Afraid” John Paul II International Center, established by Cardinal Dziwisz in Krakow in 2006.

The Center is meant to create a living memory of John Paul II, to preserve and spread his legacy, and to promote the values by which he lived and which he inspired us to follow. Priests for Life is working to spread awareness of the Center, and of the foundation which supports it here in the United States, the Friends of St. John Paul the Second “Be Not Afraid” Center, Inc., based in Linden, New Jersey (see

Father Frank worked at the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family under the pontificate of John Paul II. The Pontifical Council for the Family fosters the pro-life work of the Catholic Church. Fr. Frank stated, “I was privileged to converse with Pope John Paul II multiple times about the defense of life against abortion and other threats. The core of his teachings and example was and remains the dignity of the human person. In promoting the John Paul II International Center, we at Priests for Life obviously want to give primary attention to this core teaching of St. John Paul II. All who do pro-life work need his intercession today more than ever, both to withstand the attacks that come from all directions and also to avoid the temptation to think that somehow the defense of the unborn should be less of a priority than other issues. Both for the Church and the state, there is one moral imperative today that stands above all the rest: to end abortion.

“I had the opportunity to discuss with John Paul II on multiple occasions the work of Priests for Life, and he expressed strong support and encouragement,” Fr. Frank explained. “Given that personal contact with him, and given the priority he placed on the defense of the right to life, it is highly appropriate that we place our entire ministry and activity under his special patronage.”

A video of the dedication with Cardinal Dziwisz and Father Pavone is available at

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection












This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at:

“I shall accept whatever they will do to me provided they save the child” (St Gianna Molla).

Reflection: In 1962, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla died after giving birth to her fourth child. She was a physician herself, and understood the risks of her own complications in pregnancy, but steadfastly refused
abortion. Some would question her decision, given that she already had three born children. However, nothing would have harmed those children more than if she had aborted their sister, and nothing blessed them more than the example of a mother who gave her life for her child.

Prayer: Saint Gianna, pray for us, that we may imitate your selfless love. Amen.

Like St. John the Baptist, We Must Also Speak Up

Today we observe the martyrdom of St. John the Baptizer. He was killed because he spoke truth to the powerful but sinful king. The Church points to him and tells us we need to do the same: to challenge our government leaders to do what is right, starting with the protection of every human life, born and unborn.

This responsibility takes the form of lobbying and communicating with elected representatives. It also takes the form of voting, so that those who fail in their basic responsibilities to the community may not get into public office in the first place.

We count the cost of this activity too carefully. Today, let’s learn a lesson from the one who lost his head rather than keep silent. St. John the Baptizer, pray for us and for our leaders.

The Transfiguration

One day, the Lord Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain, and was transfigured before their eyes. His clothes became as bright as the sun, Moses and Elijah were seen speaking with him about his upcoming passion, and the Father’s voice was heard declaring that he was his Son.
All this was a sign to those apostles that they should not be troubled by the events that would unfold. The betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus were to fulfill the Father’s plan for our salvation.
The Transfiguration is also a sign to us. Circumstances can make us forget that every human life is part of the Father’s plan, and that the glory of God is to be seen in every person, no matter how burdensome, unplanned, or ill that person may be.

The Daughter of St. Gianna Molla recently visited Priests for Life

On her first trip to the United States, the youngest daughter of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla visited the headquarters of Priests for Life in New York. St. Gianna died in 1962, just six days after giving birth to this daughter, Gianna Emanuela. St. Gianna, who was a physician, had a benign tumor, but insisted that the life of her child be preserved, even at the risk of losing her own. This act of self-sacrifice was the culmination of an entire life lived in the clear conviction that every human life is of unspeakable value, and is worth our sacrifice and protection. In her visit to Priests for Life, Gianna Emanuela thanked all pro-life activists for the work they do and invited them to take courage from the example of her saint mother.

Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul

On January 25, the Church observes the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. This day concludes the week of prayer for Christian Unity. St. Paul, who once persecuted Christians, was converted to Jesus Christ. When the Church prays for Christian Unity, she prays that the whole world may convert to Christ, as Paul did, and that this conversion may come about because the world sees strong unity among the followers of Christ. Christian Unity is not about pretending that there are no differences between denominations, but rather it is about recognizing and building on what we hold in common. The pro-life movement continues to be one of the most powerful practical ways that Christians are coming together. The National Pro-life Religious Council, which consists of many denominations, is a symbol of that fact.

God Alone is the Master of Life and Death

Today the Church observes All Saints’ Day, and many of those saints were martyrs.

But what is the difference between martyrdom and suicide?

It is the difference between giving and taking.

In suicide, one takes his own life, pretending to be the master of it.

In martyrdom, one realizes that only God is master of his life, and therefore that he cannot hold on to that life at the cost of betraying God. Martyrdom is the very opposite of suicide, because the martyr declares that God alone is Lord of Life, and that being faithful to Him is worth any price, including death.

As we honor the martyrs and all the saints, let’s recommit ourselves to building a world that acknowledges God alone as the Master of life and death.