Speaking of Saints and future Saints in recent days, I see the Cause of Jerome Lejeune is progressing: the diocesan phase has been completed and the documents are to be sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and, I presume, the Postulator will begin to write the positio, the position document which will summarise his life and virtues and propose him as a candidate for beatification.
As the assault on life seems to gain momentum, God is giving us patrons and models to help us in our struggle to witness to the Gospel of Life. St Gianna Beretta Molla has been canonised, and now Jerome who was a great defender of life is on his way. Lejeune was a paediatrician and geneticist - he is best known for his discovery of Trisomy 21 which is the cause of Down Syndrome. A discovery, which should have helped humanity became, in the hands of the anti-life brigade, a weapon to destroy life. Following his discovery, Dr Lejeune had to defend the unborn, and particularly those who Down Syndrome, from abortion.
A friend of Blessed John Paul II, Lejeune assisted him in the cause of life and was appointed President of newly founded Pontifical Academy for Life, but only served for a few months as lung cancer claimed his life on Easter Sunday 1994. We pray for a speedy outcome to the Cause, the granting of a miracle and the joy of his beatification soon.
In related news, the Holy Father has urged Catholics to shun artificial methods of procreation - that means IVF, AI and surrogacy. These methods are deeply sinful and denigrate the act of procreation, and the life and dignity of the child.
With regard to IVF alone there are so many moral problems with it it is a veritable nightmare. Unfortunately many Catholics are so desperate to have a child that they resort to this evil and in doing so allow the creation and destruction of many children. The awful statistic is that for every live birth in IVF around thirty children have perished - this does not include the children who are suspended in freezing facilities, most of them forgotten: they are alive, but "on hold" - not even able to die so they can be released.
Another problem with this method is that those who are using it close their hearts to the truth - they deny that it is wrong, or if they know its wrong, they are prepared to suspend their consciences and God's law to get their child. This is serious as it places those souls in immortal peril. I have even heard of Catholic priests encouraging couples to go down the road of IVF, telling them that it is not a sin to do so. God forgive these priests - they are leading souls into sin: if they do not repent of this and try to undo the damage they have done, they may well be damned.
We certainly need the prayers and example of the Servant of God, Jerome Lejeune: through his intercession may the Lord bring us out of this Dark Age into the light of the Gospel of Life, where human life is cherished and protected.
The Living Tomb: storage tank in which children conceived through IVF are frozen.