You read that correctly. This is an amazing story of conversion, involving one of my favorite Dominican Saints (emphases mine):
.- The Spanish daily “La Razon” has published an article on the pro-life conversion of a former “champion of abortion.” Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia, after 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country.
“The medical textbooks of the Communist regime said abortion was simply the removal of a blob of tissue,” the newspaper reported. “Ultrasounds allowing the fetus to be seen did not arrive until the 80s, but they did not change his opinion. Nevertheless, he began to have nightmares.”
In describing his conversion, Adasevic “dreamed about a beautiful field full of children and young people who were playing and laughing, from 4 to 24 years of age, but who ran away from him in fear. A man dressed in a black and white habit stared at him in silence. The dream was repeated each night and he would wake up in a cold sweat. One night he asked the man in black and white who he was. ‘My name is Thomas Aquinas,’ the man in his dream responded. Adasevic, educated in communist schools, had never heard of the Dominican genius saint. He didn’t recognize the name.”
“Why don’t you ask me who these children are?” St. Thomas asked Adasevic in his dream.
“They are the ones you killed with your abortions,’ St. Thomas told him.
“Adasevic awoke in amazement and decided not to perform any more abortions,” the article stated.
“That same day a cousin came to the hospital with his four months-pregnant girlfriend, who wanted to get her ninth abortion—something quite frequent in the countries of the Soviet bloc. The doctor agreed. Instead of removing the fetus piece by piece, he decided to chop it up and remove it as a mass. However, the baby’s heart came out still beating. Adasevic realized then that he had killed a human being.”
After this experience, Adasevic “told the hospital he would no longer perform abortions. Never before had a doctor in Communist Yugoslavia refused to do so. They cut his salary in half, fired his daughter from her job, and did not allow his son to enter the university.”
After years of pressure and on the verge of giving up, he had another dream about St. Thomas.
“You are my good friend, keep going,’ the man in black and white told him. Adasevic became involved in the pro-life movement and was able to get Yugoslav television to air the film ‘The Silent Scream,’ by Doctor Bernard Nathanson, two times.”
Adasevic has told his story in magazines and newspapers throughout Eastern Europe. He has returned to the Orthodox faith of his childhood and has studied the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas.
“Influenced by Aristotle, Thomas wrote that human life begins forty days after fertilization,” Adasevic wrote in one article. La Razon commented that Adasevic “suggests that perhaps the saint wanted to make amends for that error.” Today the Serbian doctor continues to fight for the lives of the unborn.
What a story, and what a man! What a great encouragement to us in the pro-life community not to give up hope, no matter how difficult things may get! And what an important reminder for us never to stop loving and praying for abortionists and others who advocate for abortion–because they could very well become our friends and allies in the fight some day! Dr. Adasevic is not the first or last convert.
And St. Thomas Aquinas–what can I say? I’ve always known he’s great!
Did St. Thomas want to make amends for his error? I have no way of knowing for sure, but I think it was more that he wanted to come and teach Truth, just as any good Dominican wants to do. Dr. Adasevic, like so many modern people, was living in darkness, and it would be completely in St. Thomas’s nature to want to cast some light there. I don’t see that St. Thomas has anything to make amends for; his error was not unreasonable for somebody who lived in the 13th century, when the beginning of human life was still surrounded by mystery and speculation. The important thing is that he never would have seen abortion as anything other than evil. The fact that some people have conveniently overlooked that important point, and have used his writings in erroneous and even perhaps malicious ways is not really St. Thomas’s problem, much less his fault.
It is modern man who needs to make amends. Unlike St. Thomas, modern man knows exactly how and when human life begins. But also unlike St. Thomas, modern man doesn’t care–despite his knowledge, modern man picks and chooses for himself what is true and meaningful; he does not concern himself with applying knowledge to the common good, as a means for building up the human race. He lacks many things that St. Thomas possessed in huge treasure troves: wisdom, morality, belief in absolute Truth, and above all, faith.
That is why St. Thomas paid a visit to Dr. Adasevic–the doctor needed a huge wake-up call. And he’s far from the only one.
It would be great if the Angelic Doctor could drop in on other people… such as VP-elect Joe Biden, who actually tried to use St. Thomas’s writings to argue that the Catholic Church has not always, consistently taught that abortion is evil. Bad idea. Again: no matter how fuzzy the biology might have been, the moral teaching never was. St. Thomas held that teaching to be true and unchangeable, and he stood by it. Nothing–not science, not politics, not Greek philosophy, nothing–could contradict it or convince him to disavow it the way some Catholics do today out of political expediency, political correctness, ignorance, willful dissent, or whatever.
Regardless of all that, I don’t want to downplay how awesome, huge, and beautiful Dr. Adasevic’s story is! God bless him for his courage, perseverence, and return to faith! I know St. Thomas is proud of him, and he has a special friend in Heaven! I hope his story inspires many people, on both sides of the abortion battle.