Book ReviewsThe French geneticist that renounced to a Nobel Prize to defend the unborn is on his way to sainthood

Dr. Jérôme Lejeune (1926-1994). Credit: Fondation Jérôme Lejeune via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0). Dr. Jérôme Lejeune (1926-1994). Credit: Fondation Jérôme Lejeune via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Ignatius Press has released the biography of one of the most brave and kind prolife heroes, French geneticist Jérôme Lejeune, one of the world's most important persons in his field, whose name was "buried" when he became one of the most devoted supporters of the pro-life cause in his native country and around the world. 

"Jérôme Lejeune, a Man of Science and Conscience," by Aude Dugast, takes readers on an incredible journey of this man's life, one featuring Nobel Peace Prize nominations, a close friendship with Pope John Paul II, hundreds of prestigious accolades, and a will to serve patients whom society deemed worthless — those with Down syndrome.

Lejeune discovered the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome. As a Catholic, he thougth his discovery would lead to a more compassionate approach to children with the syndrome, only to find out that his discovery would be used to diagnose them in the womb and abort them. He then became a pro life expert who would use his remarkable scientific knowledge to defend the unborn and testify as an expert on their behalf in court cases around the world, including the United States.

Dugast, herself an important French academic, Lejeune's disciple and postulator of his cause for beatification, spent eleven years consulting thousands of archives. She met at length with Lejeune's wife and relatives, families of his patients and his French and foreign collaborators. 

No wonder the editor asserts that the book "delivers a page-turner of unbelievable events of this man's life, his relentless pursuit of truth through both faith and science, and courage to speak on behalf of the preborn child to his colleagues who shunned him for such action."

Lejeune was a man of deep faith and insatiable love for those with Down syndrome. He dedicated his life to giving their lives dignity and, ultimately, to find a cure, which he was never able to accomplish. His work caught the attention of Pope John Paul II, with whom he developed both a lifelong friendship and working relationship, eventually being appointed the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life. The cause for beatification for Lejeune was initiated on June 28, 2007.


“Jérôme Lejeune, a Man of Science and Conscience” - Ignatius Press

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