Vatican officials have ruled that a Hawaiian woman's spontaneous cure from cancer was due to the intercession of Father Damien De Veuster, a missionary priest who ministered to the lepers of Hawaii, and ultimately died after contracting the same decease from those he labored to protect.
Born on January 3, 1840 in Flemish Brabant, Belgium, Damien De Veuster traveled to Hawaii as a brother of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and was ordained a priest in Honolulu on May 21, 1964. For a few years, Father Damien - as he is commonly known - served as a perish priest to several perishes in Hawaii before a health epidemic erupted that demanded his immediate attention. He was taken to a village in the island of Molokai by Bishop Louis Desiré Maigret, and there he was introduced to the Kalaupapa leper colony. During his supervision of the village, he erected a Church, addressed the medical needs of the infirm, bettered the living conditions of the residents, and administered the sacraments. Sadly, in 1884, Father Damien contracted leprosy and died on April 15, 1889, when the disease fully matured.
Father Damien's case now moves on to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints for final review. If it's their opinion that Father Damien should be declared a saint, then they would pass their findings to Pope Benedict for final approval.