By: Bill Federer From: American Minute
He developed vaccines for rabies and anthrax and revolutionized medicine with his germ theory of disease. He laid the foundation for the control of tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria and tetanus.
While Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at Lille University in France, he developed the process of "pasteurization" of milk.
His name was Louis Pasteur...
As a young man, Louis wrote to his sisters, November 1, 1840 (Rene' Vallery-Radot, The Life of Louis Pasteur, translated by Mrs. R.L. Devonshire, Vol. I, NY: McClure, Phillips & Co., 1902):
"If perchance you should falter during the journey...God...would Himself accomplish its work."
In 1849, while a professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, he married Marie Laurent, daughter of the university's rector.
Tragically, three of their five children died of typhoid, which inspired him to research the causes and preventions of diseases.
"Dans les champs de l'observation, le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés" (In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.)
President George H.W. Bush referred to this statement, February 13, 1989:
"You know, Louis Pasteur once said: 'Chance favors only the prepared mind.'...For America to be prepared for the future, our children must be educated."
"Science, which brings man nearer to God."
Louis Pasteur, together with Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch, is considered a father of the science of microbiology.
Describing anaerobic (without oxygen) bacteria, Louis Pasteur commented:
"The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Into his tiniest creatures, God has placed extraordinary properties that turn them into agents of destruction of dead matter."
"I am pursuing as best I can these studies on fermentation which are of great interest, connected as they are with the impenetrable mystery of Life and Death."
In a letter to his father, February 7, 1860, Louis Pasteur wrote (Vallery-Radot, Life of Louis Pasteur):
"God grant that by my persevering labors I may bring a little stone to the frail and ill-assured edifice of our knowledge of those deep mysteries of Life and Death where all our intellects have so lamentably failed."
In 1862, Pasteur's research of micro-organisms spoiling beverages, such as beer, wine and milk, led to the process of heating the liquids to kill most bacteria and molds. This process is now know as "pasteurization."
Pasteur promoted the practice of doctors washing their hands to sanitize them before surgery. His research into micro-organisms causing infections led Joseph Lister to develop antiseptic methods in surgery.
President Eisenhower wrote January 8, 1954:
"Pasteurization of milk has prevented countless epidemics and saved thousands of lives."
In 1796, scientist Edward Jenner discovered that with cowpox people could be inoculated from smallpox. Louis Pasteur used his term "vaccine" (vaca is Latin for cow) to describe his method of immunizing cows from anthrax and humans from rabies.
"The more I know, the more does my faith approach that of the Breton peasant. Could I but know all, I would have the faith of a Breton peasant woman."
A Catholic, though described by some as a free thinker, Louis Pastuer died in 1895 while listening to the story of St. Vincent de Paul, a French priest who escaped Muslim slavery in 1605 and helped found religious orders to care for suffering humanity in hospitals.
President Lyndon B. Johnson stated April 7, 1966:
"Years ago Louis Pasteur said, 'I hold the unconquerable belief that science and peace will triumph over ignorance and war; that nations will come together not to destroy, but to construct; and that the future belongs to those who accomplish most for humanity.'"
Louis Pasteur's son-in-law described him in a biography (Rene' Vallery-Radot, 1911, vol. 2, p. 240):
"Absolute faith in God and in Eternity, and a conviction that the power for good given to us in this world will be continued beyond it, were feelings which pervaded his whole life; the virtues of the gospel had ever been present to him...."