The inspiring life of St. Damien de Veuster

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St. Damien de Veuster. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

St. Damien de Veuster

Feast day: May 10

Born in Belgium in 1840, Joseph de Veuster left school at 13 to work on the family farm. He followed his brother, Pamphile, and joined the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, taking the name Damien. He volunteered for a mission to the Hawaiian Islands, serving there for eight years. In 1873, he volunteered to work at the leprosy colony on Molokai. Under horrifying conditions, he gave the rest of his life to tending to the physical and spiritual needs of the people there. Damien himself contracted the disease and died of its complications in 1889. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. He is patron of people suffering with leprosy.


Father of mercy,
who gave us in Saint Damien
a shining witness of love for the poorest and most abandoned,
grant that, by his intercession,
as faithful witnesses of the heart of your Son Jesus,
we too may be servants of the most needy and rejected.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

Our Sunday Visitor Staff

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