mercredi, septembre 26, 2007

We hold the life !

The great miracle of life

How a human person comes to the existence

About Professeur Jérôme Lejeune

Jérôme Lejeune was born in 1926 in Montrouge, a Parisian suburb. He studied medicine and became a research scientist with the CNRS (French National Scientific Research Organisation) in 1952. He became the French international expert on nuclear radiation.

In July 1958, whilst examining the chromosomes of a child suffering from "Down's syndrome", he discovered the existence of a chromosome too many on the 21st pair. For the first time in the world, a link was established between mental debility and a chromosomic aberration.

In 1964, he became the first professor of Fundamental Genetics at the Paris Medical Faculty.Whilst keeping himself readily available for the families of handicapped children who he treated, he took an active part in thousands of conferences world-wide.

In 1974, he became a member of the Pontifical Science Academy.

In 1981, he was elected as a member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.

In 1983, he joined the National Medical Academy. He was made an honorary doctor, was granted membership or received awards from many other foreign academies, universities and learned societies.

In 1994, he was appointed President for life of the Pontifical Academy.

He died on 3rd April 1994, with the sad feeling of failing in his mission : "I was the doctor who was supposed to cure them and as I leave, I feel I am abandoning them."

Professor Lejeune received numerous awards for his work on chromosomic pathologies, among which :in 1962, the prestigious Kennedy prizein 1969, the William Allen Memorial Awardin 1993, the Griffuel prize, for his pioneering work on chromosomic anomalies in cancer

A scientist and a man of great faith

Rome, Feb. 20 (

- Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini has called for the opening of a cause for the beatification of the late French geneticist Jerome Lejeune. Cardinal Angelini made his proposal during the first day of a four-day meeting of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Lejeune was appointed by Pope John Paul as the first president of that body when it was created in 1994. The French physician died just 33 days after the appointment.

"He was a man of science who lived his Christian faith in his profession work, heroically, showing his faith with a simplicity and joy, serving life with a full devotion and complete disinterest," said Cardinal Angelini, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care.

Born in 1926 in Montrouge, Jerome Lejeune gained international fame in 1958 when he discovered the Trisomy 21 genetic defect responsible for Down Syndrome. As he gained renown as a scholar, teacher, and researcher, he continued his work with children suffering from severe disabilities. In his later years he became an outspoken defender of human life, speaking out frequently against abortion in Europe and abroad despite the hostility of many of his medical colleagues.

Dr. Lejeune gave important professional testimony during abortion-related court cases in the US and during the Borowski case in Canada. Many pro-life activists who met the world-renowned geneticist were moved by the exceptional depth and warmth of the humble medical scientist. Jim Hughes, vice-president of International Right to Life and president of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada hosted Dr. Lejeune in Toronto in the 1980's. Hughes says that the doctor was an obviously holy man and recalled that "Before he would go out on speaking engagements he would contact various convents of nuns and ask for prayers for the success of the event".

Lejeune would usually attract an audience of a few thousand people to his pro-life talks, said Hughes, and his stories to large and small groups were usually "beautiful and inspiring".

During a 1997 visit to Paris for World Youth Day, Pope John Paul II made a point of visiting Lejeune's grave, paying homage to the illustrious French scientist.

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