Pope Paul VI’s legacy as a strong advocate for babies in the womb could be recognized in a special way when he is canonized as a saint later this year.
Known for overseeing the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, Pope Paul VI is expected to be canonized in October. Among his most notable achievements, he published the important church document “Humanae Vitae” in 1968 about the value of human life.
The Catholic Herald reports there are hints that the former pope may be named the patron saint for the protection of unborn babies. Both miracles attributed to him in the canonization process involved the healing of unborn babies.
“Paul VI might be invoked as the protector of unborn life,” Fr Antonio Marrazzo told CNA.
Here’s more from the report:
In both cases, the mother was never in mortal danger, it was not a first pregnancy, and could have ended in the child suffering severe deformities. Doctors also suggested abortion in both cases. However, the children were born healthy.
The former Pope, who reigned from 1963 to 1978, wrote in his famous encyclical Humanae Vitae that “the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children.”
In February, cardinals approved the second miracle, involving an Italian mother who was urged to abort her unborn child.
The Herald Malaysia reported at the time:
The miracle attributed to the cause of Paul VI is the healing of an unborn child in the fifth month of pregnancy. The case was brought forward in 2014 for study.
The mother, originally from the province of Verona, Italy, had an illness that risked her own life and the life of her unborn child, and was advised to have an abortion.
A few days after the beatification of Paul VI on 19 Oct 2014, she went to pray to him at the Shrine of Holy Mary of Grace in the town of Brescia. The baby girl was later born in good health, and remains in good health today.
According to the report, another unborn baby in the 1990s in California also was healed after his mother entrusted her pregnancy to Pope Paul VI.
The unborn baby boy had a high risk of brain damage and his mother’s doctors encouraged her to abort him. However, she prayed for a miracle and asked for the pope’s intervention in her son’s life. He also was healed and now is a healthy young adult, according to the report.