Dr. Jérôme Lejeune was a friend of St. John Paul II and the founding president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. His is the geneticist who discovered the cause of Down Syndrome, and later lamented that this knowledge was used by others to conduct search and destroy missions on unborn children afflicted by the disorder. He spoke out courageously against abortion within the secular, scientific community and testified in court about when human life begins. He died in 1994.
Lord, you are the source of all truth.
You raise up men and women of science,
Who know that good morality is good medicine
And who use their research
To honor and serve the gift of life
Rather than to destroy it.
We thank you today
For the life and example
Of your servant, Jerome Lejeune.
He combined scientific brilliance
With eminent holiness.
He blended precise research
With exemplary virtue.
He advanced the cause of medicine
And advanced the culture of life.
Thank you for the testimony he gave
That life begins at conception,
And that this is a truth of science
Rather than a sectarian belief.
Thank you for the courage he showed
To speak to his colleagues and to the world
That abortion is evil and has no place in medicine.
Thank you for the service he rendered to the Church
Under the leadership of his friend, St. John Paul II.
May the teaching and example
Of both of these holy men
Strengthen your Church to serve and protect the unborn
With vigor, with love, and with joy.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life