Saint Damien of Molokai Hawaii – His Selfless Path to Sainthood

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Saint Damien of Molokai was born Joseph de Veuster. He was raised on a farm in Tremeloo, Belgium. His dad and mom wished him to review enterprise. Out of respect for his dad and mom he did for a short while research enterprise at Braine-le-Comte, Belgium. Joseph got here to the belief that enterprise was not his calling. Joseph had an older brother named Auguste who was finding out to turn out to be a Catholic priest. Together with his dad and mom permission Joseph joined the Congregation of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. That group operated a number of monasteries in Europe together with the one at Louvain, Belgium.

When the brothers joined the non secular order they got new non secular names. Joseph’s older brother Auguste can be known as Pamphile and Joseph can be known as Damien after Saint Damien of Cilicia. It could be a number of years earlier than Damien would turn out to be a Catholic priest, till then he can be known as Brother Damien. When Brother Pamphile grew to become Father Pamphile he was chosen to turn out to be a Catholic missionary at distant Hawaii sadly earlier than Father Pamphile was scheduled to depart he contracted Typhoid fever. He was too sick to journey. Brother Damien selflessly requested his brother if he might go in his place. Father Pamphile had no drawback with the request and advised his brother to ask the superior common of the order.

The chief of the non secular order accepted the request and on October 31, 1863 Brother Damien joined a bunch of Catholic missionaries that may sail half approach all over the world to hold the message of their faith to native Hawaiians. The Hawaii certain missionaries traveled onboard the RW Wooden a big three-masted ship. The Hawaiian Missionaries boarded the ship at Bremerhaven. To get to Hawaii the ship would sail via the treacherous waters round Cape Horn. The ship was properly provisioned; they made no port calls alongside the way in which. The RW Wooden made the journey to Honolulu in 148 days.

The chief of the Catholics in Hawaii, Bishop Maigret met the brand new missionaries on the dock. Bishop Maigret led the missionaries via Honolulu to the Catholic Cathedral of our Girl of Peace. It’s a large construction constructed from giant blocks of coral minimize from a close-by reef. On the Cathedral a Mass was held to provide thanks for a protected voyage. Different Catholic missionaries had not been so lucky. One entire firm of Catholic missionaries died when the ship they have been on wrecked whereas making an attempt to make its approach round Cape Horn. Different Catholic missionaries despatched to Hawaii weren’t allowed to land. The Kingdom had a legislation in opposition to idol worship. The King thought that the cross and the statues which can be within the Catholic church buildings have been idols.

Brother Damien nonetheless needed to full his coaching to turn out to be a Catholic priest he and two others have been despatched to the Ahuimanu mission college just a few miles from Honolulu to finish their coaching. Just some months after arriving at Honolulu brother Damien grew to become father Damien when he was ordained on the Cathedral of our Girl of Peace in Honolulu Might 21, 1864.

The Bishop assigned Father Damien to the Puna District on the Large Island of Hawaii. Father Damien was very useful he spent ten years on the Large Island and constructed as many church buildings in that point. It was customary for the Clergymen from surrounding parishes and different islands to get collectively to bless a brand new church when it was constructed. Within the spring of 1873 father Damien traveled to Wailuku on the island of Maui to bless one other church. Bishop Maigret met with the gathering of monks there to debate an issue or maybe a chance on the leper colony on the Island of Molokai.

The Bishop laid out the ugly particulars, of the dreadful illness and the horrible circumstances that existed on the leper colony. The yr earlier than a Catholic mission employee had accomplished development of the Saint Philomena church on the leper colony. The Bishop wished a volunteer, somebody who would turn out to be Priest to the Lepers at Saint Philomena. Father Damien was the primary to volunteer.

Father Damien spent his first night time on Molokai Might 10, 1873 that night time for a mattress he nestled between the roots of a Pandanus tree. Father Damien would spend the subsequent sixteen years of his life tending to the bodily and non secular wants of the Lepers of Molokai. He grew to become an advocate for the rights of these unlucky souls. Ultimately he contracted the illness himself and died there. They buried him subsequent to the Pandanus tree the place he spent his first night time.

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