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Blessed Damian of Molokai

Joseph de Veuster was born January 3, 1840 on his family’s farm in Belgium. He joined the Picupus Fathers in 1860 and chose the name Damian. He volunteered for the missions while still a seminarian and was ordained in Hawaii on May 24, 1864. At first he ministered to a large missionary parish spread over several islands, but his heart was drawn to the plight of the lepers isolated on Molokai. He eventually went to stay permanently with the lepers. He nursed them, taught them, ministered to their spiritual needs and tried to make life better for them. Molokai became a model colony for the treatment of leprosy. Father Damian contracted the disease in 1885 and died of it in 1889. As long as his strength held out he continued to serve the lepers. He was canonized on October 11, 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI, so he is officially Saint Damian of Molokai.




 
 
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