Saint Damien of Molokai
Patron of Hawaii, Missionaries, & All Volunteers Working to Heal and Care for the Sick
Feast Day: April 15th
Damian was from the Flemish village of Tremelo. He followed in his brother Auguste’s footsteps and became a Priest. His dream was to become a Missionary, and every day he prayed to Saint Xavier, asking him to bring a life that concentrated on being a Missionary. His brother became ill years later and was unable to perform his Mission in Hawaii. Damien was chosen to take his place. There was an epidemic taking place in Hawaii and the leaders decided to begin quarantining the sick and infirm. The Bishop realized that a Priest would be needed to assist those afflicted, but it was understood that whomever took the job might also become ill. Damian volunteered.
He worked to establish the Parish of Saint Philomena and much was required of his Ministry: beyond Priestly duties, he served as a doctor, nurse, and a builder of homes and digger of graves. A judgmental man wrote that Damian was coarse and dirty and contracted leprosy through carelessness but Mahatma Gandhi disputed that notion and Robert Louis Stevenson predicted Damian would become a Saint. Two miracles have been attributed to Father Damian’s Intercessions and he has indeed been Canonized as a Saint! © 2010