Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Father Damien's Cause for Canonization Advances

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.


jessica said...

That's wonderful!! I first heard about him a few years back and I've read almost everything I could find on the man. I hope it goes through and he is sainted.

“His cassock was worn and faded, his hair tumbled like a school-boy’s, his hands stained and hardened by toil; but the glow of health was in his face, the buoyancy of youth in his manner; while his ringing laugh, his ready sympathy, and his inspiring magnetism told of one who in any sphere might do a noble work, and who in that which he has chosen is doing the noblest of all works. This was Father Damien.”
- Charles Warren Stoddard, who visited Kalawao in 1884

Shirley said...

I saw a movie about him a few years ago; can't remember the name of it,but it was very good. God speed to the canonization process!

Tom in Vegas said...


I think he will be canonized in the next couple of years or so. But I think it definitely will happen. And, BTW, what a WONDERFUL quote!! Thank you:)


I think the movie you might be referring to is called Molokai: The Story of Father Damien, which came out in 1999.

paramedicgirl said...

I have never head of him. The Church in her wisdom, will canonize this priest after their due process, if he is to counted among the elect.

Tracy said...

I really hope it will happen!