St Damien Of Molokai

By cooperl
  • Birth

    Born in Tremelo, Belguim as Joseph de Veuster.
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    St Damien Of Molokai's legacy.
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    Lifetime Of Saint Damien Of Molokai

  • Joined Sacred Hearts Fathers

    Joined the Congregation of Sacred Heart's of Jesus and Mary when he was twenty. He took the name of a fourth-century physician and martyr and left his name, Joseph, behind.
  • Arrival in Honolulu

    Arrived in Honolulu, Kingdom of Hawaii as a missionary.
  • Ordained to priesthood.

    Damien was ordained to priesthood at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, a church built by his religous order.
  • Assigned to the Catholic mission *

  • "Act to prevent the Spread of Leprosy" passed and approved.*

    *no specific day or month
    In 1865, fearful of its spread, the Hawaiʻi Legislature passed and King Kamehameha V approved, the "Act to Prevent the Spread of Leprosy" which quarantined the lepers of the kingdom and moved them to settlement colonies known as Kalaupapa and Kalawao at the east end of the Kalaupapa peninsula on Molokaʻi.
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    Over 8,000 people lepers were sent away.*

    *no exact day or month
  • Arrived at leper settlement as resident priest.

    At his own request and with the sanction of his bishop, he arrived at the leper settlement in Molokai to become the resident priest.
  • Period: to

    Time at Molokai Leper settlement.

  • Wrote to his brother about the lepers.*

    *no exact day of month
    Six months after his arrival at Kalawao he wrote his brother, Pamphile, in Europe:
    ...I make myself a leper with the lepers to gain all to Jesus Christ.
  • Discovered in himself the first symptoms of leprosy.*

    *no specific day of month
    In December 1884 while preparing to bathe, Damien inadvertently put his foot into scalding water, causing his skin to blister. He felt nothing. Damien had contracted leprosy. Despite this discovery, residents say that Damien worked vigorously to build as many homes as he could and planned for the continuation of the programs he created after he was gone.
  • Massanao Goto arrived and treated Father Damien*

    *no exact day or month
    Masanao Goto, a Japanese leprologist, came to Honolulu in 1885 and treated Father Damien. It was his theory that leprosy was caused by a diminution of the blood, and his treatment consisted of nourishing food, moderate exercise, frequent friction to the benumbed parts, special ointments and medical baths. The treatments did, indeed, relieve some of the symptoms and were very popular with the Hawaiian patients.
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    Flurry of activity in last years*

    *no exact day or month of starting
    In his last years Damien engaged in a flurry of activity. While continuing his charitable ministrations, he hastened to complete his many building projects, enlarge his orphanages, and organize his work. Help came from four strangers who came to Kalaupapa to help the ailing missionary: a priest, a soldier, a male nurse, and a nun.
  • Last trip to Honolulu

    Dr. Goto was one of his best friends and Damien's last trip to Honolulu on July 10, 1886, was made to receive treatment from him.
  • Beridden

  • General confession and renewal of vows

  • Recieved Holy Viaticum

  • Recieved Extreme Unction

  • Death

  • Laid to rest.

    The next day, after Mass by Father Moellers at St. Philomena's, the whole settlement followed the funeral cortège to the cemetery where Damien was laid to rest under the same Pandanus tree where he first slept upon his arrival on Molokaʻi.
  • Body taken back to Belgium*

    *no exact day
    In January 1936, at the request of the Belgian government, Damien's body was returned to his native land. It was brought back aboard the Belgian sailing ship Mercator and now rests in Leuven, an historic university city close to the village where Damien was born
  • Beatified by Pope John Paul II

  • Right hand returned to original grave.*

    *no exact day (after 4th)
    After his beatification in June 1995, the remains of his right hand were returned to Hawaiʻi, and re-interred in his original grave on Molokaʻi.
  • Declared to be venerable.*

    *no exact day or month
    In 1977, Pope Paul VI declared Father Damien to be venerable, the first of three steps that lead to sainthood.
  • Placed on Liturgical Calendar

    Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, confirmed the November 1999 decision of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to place Blessed Damien of Molokai on the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar with the rank of optional memorial. His official Feast Day is on May 10 of each year.
  • Feast Day from now on.

  • Two cures accepted as evidence of Father Damien's sanctity.*

    *no exact day
    In April 2008, the Holy See accepted the two cures as evidence of Father Damien's sanctity.
  • Recommended to sainthood

    On June 2, 2008, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican voted to recommend raising Father Damien of Molokaʻi to sainthood.
  • Official decree promulgated.

    The decree that officially notes and verifies the miracle needed for canonization was promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal José Saraiva Martins on Thursday, July 3, 2008, with the ceremony taking place in Rome, with celebrations in Belgium and Hawaiʻi.
  • Canonization announced.

    On February 21, 2009, the Vatican announced that Father Damien would be canonized.
  • Feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA)

    Damien is honored, together with Marianne Cope, with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on April 15.
  • Canonized by Pope Benedict

    Father Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday October 11, 2009.