Thursday, May 10, 2012

Apostle to the Lepers and the Protector of the Poor

Saint Damien of Molokia, born Joseph de Veuster  in Belgium, was a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. His brother, who was in the same order was supposed to go to Hawaii, but had taken ill, so Damien who was still in seminary asked to take his place. He was sent to Hawaii where he was ordained. It was on a leper colony on the island of Molokai that Father Damien's holiness shone brightest. While on Molokai he ministered to the leper's medical and spiritual needs bringing joy and love to a people wrought with despair. He contracted leprosy, but despite his deteriorating health worked until his death.
Sanctus Damianus, ora pro nobis
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