St. Damien of Molokai


 
St. Damien of Molokai Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 05/10


Patron Of: Against Leprosy, Lepers

Also Known As

    * Apostle to the Lepers
    * Damian de Veuster
    * Father Damien
    * Joseph de Veuster

Memorial
    * 10 May

Profile

    Son of a small farmer. Studied at the college at Braine-le-Comte, Belgium. Joined the Picpus Fathers on 7 October 1860, taking the name Damien. Seminarian in Paris, France. Volunteered for missionary work while still in seminary, and was sent to Hawaii. Ordained in Honolulu on 24 May 1864. Missionary on islands where his single parish was the size of all of his native Belgium. Resident priest in the leper colony on Molokai where for years he worked alone to minister to the patients’ spiritual and medical needs. His work turned a wretched dump for the unwanted into a real community with the best treatment of the day, and patients who lived strong spiritual lives. He contracted leprosy in 1885, and though severely crippled by the disease, Father Damien worked until the end.

Born

    * 3 January 1840 on the family farm at Tremeloo, Belgium as Joseph de Veuster

Died

    * 15 April 1889 at Molokai, Hawaii from leprosy
    * buried next to Saint Philomena Church, Molokai, Hawaii
    * interred in the cathedral at Antwerp, Belgium in 1936

Venerated

    * 7 July 1977 by Pope Paul VI (decree of heroic virtues)

Beatified

    * 3 June 1995 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized

    * 11 October 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI

Patronage

    * against leprosy
    * lepers
 



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All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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