Cahiers Péguy


Jérôme Lejeune on Approaching Death

Professor-Jerome-Lejeune-and-friend.Many of us had the opportunity to hear Clara Lejeune Gaymard offer a witness about her father, famed geneticist Jérôme Lejeune, at the New York Encounter last January. Lejeune discovered Down syndrome and spent his life devoted to the children afflicted with this illness.

The National Catholic Register has just published an interview with Gaymard about her father. I include a quote which reveals his understanding of his special charges.

What is very important for us is that, when he was alive, he took care of children with Down syndrome; he had a consultation with more than 5,000 patients, and he knew them, each of them, by the first name. The day before he died, I met him at the hospital, and he said to me, “You know, I’m not afraid to leave, but I’m sad for my patients, because they won’t understand why I should be the one who tried to save them, and I abandoned them.” So I told him, “You know they will understand; they understand better than we do.” And he told me, “No, they don’t understand better than we do, but deeper.”

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About clairity

Sharon Mollerus is an editor (, writer ( and photographer ( but mostly a Grandma-on-call.
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