"Jérôme Lejeune had led this fight for the respect of the embryo throughout his life, as a historical opponent of the Veil Law which legalized abortion in France in 1975, and as a researcher and physician, he had seen from the first bioethics law in 1994, just before his death, where in vitro fertilization and research on the embryo would lead us," the foundation said.
The pope also advanced seven other causes on Thursday.
He recognized the Italian priest Giovanni Fornasini (1915-1944) as a martyr killed in hatred of the faith. Fornasini served in the resistance during the Second World War and was shot dead by a Nazi soldier.
The pope recognized the heroic virtues of six other candidates.
They included Elizabeth Prout (1820-1864), founder of the Passionist Sisters, who served impoverished workers in England's deprived industrial towns. Prout, also known by her religious name Mother Mary Joseph of Jesus, is buried alongside Ignatius Spencer and Dominic Barberi, two other candidates for canonization who played major roles in the revival of English Catholicism in the 19th-century.
The pope also acknowledged the heroic virtues of the Italian priests Fr. Michele Arcangelo Maria Antonio Vinti (1893-1943) and Fr. Ruggero Maria Caputo (1907-1980).
He also recognized the heroic virtues of Santiago Masarnau Fernández (1805-1882), a pianist and composer who established the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Spain.
Also recognized was the Italian seminarian Pasquale Canzii (1914-1930), who died at the age of 15 while studying for the priesthood.
The final candidate recognized by Pope Francis was Adelaide Bonolis (1909-1980), an Italian lay woman who founded the Opere di Assistenza e Redenzione Sociale, an organization offering social assistance.