Immediate reputation for sanctity

The factor leading to the opening of a Cause for beatification and canonisation is what is called the ‘reputation for sanctity’. It must be a spontaneous and widely shared. In other words it is not enough that several people or a small group are asking for the Cause to be introduced. It has to be widely based and large body of opinion.

In this case, the reputation for sanctity existed from the time that Professor Jérôme Lejeune died. In next to no time there were very many testimonials coming from France and elsewhere, asking for the Cause to be opened: notably, a signed petition from Latin America the very day he died.

Furthermore, Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, President of the Pontifical Counsel for Pastoral Heath Care officially requested the opening of the Cause in 2004, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the creation of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which itself coincided with the tenth anniversary of Jérôme Lejeune’s death. Also worthy of mention are the repeated requests made by Mgr Elio Sgreccia, Jérôme Lejeune’s second successor as President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and also of The International Federation of Catholic Doctors.

Since this Cause was opened, nearly 5 years ago, testimonials have not ceased to come in from the entire world, along with requests for prayers. Small pictures have therefore been printed, along with the official prayer, approved by Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, asking favours by the intercession of the Servant of God Jérôme Lejeune. This prayer has been translated into 5 languages and requests for it are still being widely made.