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Statues of saints on the colonade of St. Peter's Square in Rome Statues of saints on the colonade of St. Peter's Square in Rome 

Another step towards sainthood for Jérôme Lejeune, seven others

Pope Francis approves the promulgation of decrees concerning eight causes of sainthood, including Servant of God Jérôme Lejeune, first president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and researcher on Down Syndrome.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis on Thursday authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate eight decrees advancing the causes for the canonization of six men and two women. Among them are Servant of God Jérôme Lejeune, a scientist best known for his work on Down Syndrome, and Servant of God Elizabeth Prout, foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jérôme Lejeune

Servant of God Jérôme Lejeune was a French pediatrician and geneticist who was confronted with the struggles experienced by children with Down Syndrome and their families. Lejeune dedicated his research to understanding the mystery of the condition and is recognized for discovering the syndrome’s genetic cause linked to chromosomal abnormalities.

Lejeune’s research helped reduce the social stigma attached to those affected by Down Syndrome, also known as trisomy 21. He also discovered the cause of many other chromosome-related abnormalities, thereby opening the way to further advancements in modern genetics.

In February 1994, Servant of God Jérôme Lejeune was appointed by Pope St. John Paul II as the first president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Lejeune died two months after his appointment. He was a husband and father of five children.

Elizabeth Prout

Born in Shrewsbury, England in 1820, Servant of God Mary Josephine of Jesus (born Elisabeth Prout) founded a congregation of religious women called the Sisters of the Holy Cross and of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ at age 29.

She and her small band of sisters, touched by the misery and deprivation of the poor, desired to bring the compassion and love of Christ to them. Their community was directed and helped by two Passionist priests and the rule was based on that of St. Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionists.

Servant of God Elizabeth Prout died on 11 January 1864 in Sutton, England.

Eight decrees

Of the decrees promulgated, seven of them are on the heroic virtues of five men and two women, while one is on martyrdom.

The decrees regard:

- the martyrdom of the Servant of God Giovanni Fornasini, diocesan priest; born on 23 February 1915 in Pianaccio di Lizzano in Belvedere, Italy, and killed in hatred of the faith in San Martino di Caprara, Italy, on 13 October 1944;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Michele Arcangelo Maria Antonio Vinti, diocesan priest; born on 18 January 1893 in Grotte, Italy, and died there on 17 August 1943;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Ruggero Maria Caputo, diocesan priest; born on 1 May 1907 in Barletta, Italy, and died there on 15 June 1980;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Mary Josephine of Jesus (née Elizabeth Prout), founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ; born on 2 September 1820 in Shrewsbury, England, and died in Sutton, England on 11 January 1864;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Santiago Masarnau Fernández, lay faithful; born on 10 December 1805 in Madrid, Spain, and died there on 14 December 1882;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Pasquale Canzii, seminarian; born on 6 November 1914 in Bisenti, Italy, and died in Penne, Italy on 24 January 1930;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Jérôme Lejeune, lay faithful; born on 13 June 1926 in Montrouge, France, and died in Paris, France, on 3 April 1994;

- the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Adele Bonolis, lay faithful, founder of the Works of Assistance and Social Redemption; born on 14 August 1909 in Milan, Italy, and died there on 11 August 1980.

21 January 2021, 15:23