St. Damien Joseph de Veuster

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By Living with Christ Staff

St. Damien Joseph de Veuster
Feast Day: May 10

Born in Belgium, at age 19 he entered the Congregation of the Fathers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Picpus Fathers). Sent to the Hawaiian Islands (1863), he was ordained (1864) and served as a parish priest for nine years. Then he volunteered as chaplain for the leper colony on the remote island of Moloka’i (1873). He spent the rest of his life working to restore the self-worth and dignity of the lepers and improving their living conditions. He eventually contracted leprosy and died at Moloka’i. Beatified in 1995 and canonized in 2009, he is also honored by the state of Hawaii with a statue in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. May we imitate his example to “make myself a leper with the lepers, to gain all to Jesus Christ.”  

Living with Christ Staff