Skip to comments.Bld. Damien Joseph de Veuster of Molokai
Posted on 05/10/2006 8:36:19 AM PDT by Salvation
|May 10, 2006
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Bl. Damien of Molokai
Joseph De Veuster, the future Father Damien, was born at Tremelo in Belgium, January 3rd, 1840. His was a large family and his father was a farmer-merchant. When his oldest brother entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts (called 'Picpus' after the street in Paris where its Generalate was located), then his father planned that Joseph should take charge of the family business. Joseph however, decided to become a religious himself. At the beginning of 1859 he entered the novitiate at Louvain, in the same house as his brother. There he took the name of Damien.
In 1863, his brother who was to leave for the mission in the Hawaiian Islands, became ill. Since preparations for the voyage had already been made, Damien obtained permission from the Superior General, to take his brother's place. He arrived in Honolulu on March 19th, 1864, where he was ordained to the priesthood the following May 21st. He immediately devoted himself, body and soul, to the difficult service of a "country missionary" on the island of Hawaii, the largest in the Hawaiian group.
At that time, the Hawaiian Government decided on a very harsh measure aimed at stopping the spread of "leprosy", the deportation to the neighboring island of Molokai, of all those infected by what was thought to be an incurable disease. The entire mission was concerned about the abandoned "lepers" and the Bishop, Louis Maigret ss.cc., spoke to the priests about the problem. He did not want to send anyone "in the name of obedience", because he knew that such an order meant certain death. Four Brothers volunteered, they would take turns visiting and assisting the "lepers" in their distress. Damien was the first to leave on May 10th, 1873. At his own request and that of the lepers, he remained definitively on Molokai.
He brought hope to this hell of despair. He became a source of consolation and encouragement for the lepers, their pastor, the doctor of their souls and of their bodies, without any distinction of race or religion. He gave a voice to the voiceless, he built a community where the joy of being together and openness to the love of God gave people new reasons for living.
After he himself contracted the disease in 1885, he was able to identify completely with them: "We lepers". Father Damien was above all, a witness of the love of God for His people. He got his strength from the Eucharist: "lt is at the foot of the altar that we find the strength we need in our isolation..." It is there that he found for himself and for others the support and the encouragement, the consolation and the hope, he could, with a deep faith, communicate to the lepers. All that made him "the happiest missionary in the world", a servant of God, and a servant of humanity.
Having contracted "leprosy" himself, Fr. Damien died on April 15th, 1889, having served sixteen years among the lepers. His mortal remains were transferred in 1936 to Belgium where he was interred in the crypt of the church of the Congregation of Sacred Hearts at Louvain. His fame spread to the entire world. In 1938 the process for his beatification was introduced at Malines (Belgium): Pope Paul VI signed the Decree on the "heroicity of his virtues" on July 7th 1977.
In Father Damien, the Church proposes an example to all those who find sense for their life in the Gospel and who wish to bring the Good News to the poor of our time.
Excerpted from SSCC Website
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Blessed Damian exemplifies the heroicity of virtue and sacrifice that is the mark of a saint. I hope his canonization occurs soon.
Father Damien's Order in India has been invloved in helping Lepers for the last 50+ years in Eastern India.
They are very popular in Calcutta that is the Congregation of the Sacred Heart.
Can I post a story of a Polish Missionary who passed away last week in Eastern India in his 90's. He was a Polish Divine Word Missionary who came to Eastern India in the 1930's only to serve the suffering lepers of Orissa and he did that for over 55 years till his death.
This Polish Missionary who passed away last week is called "The Apostle of Lepers of Eastern India".
Let me know whether I should post this story.
May 10, 2006
Blessed Damien of Molokai
When Joseph de Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840, few people in Europe had any firsthand knowledge of leprosy (Hansen's disease). By the time he died at the age of 49, people all over the world knew about this disease because of him. They knew that human compassion could soften the ravages of this disease.
Forced to quit school at age 13 to work on the family farm, six years later Joseph entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, taking the name of a fourth-century physician and martyr. When his brother Pamphile, a priest in the same congregation, fell ill and was unable to go to the Hawaiian Islands as assigned, Damien quickly volunteered in his place. In May 1864, two months after arriving in his new mission, Damien was ordained a priest in Honolulu and assigned to the island of Hawaii.
In 1873, he went to the Hawaiian government's leper colony on the island of Molokai, set up seven years earlier. Part of a team of four chaplains taking that assignment for three months each year, Damien soon volunteered to remain permanently, caring for the people's physical, medical and spiritual needs. In time, he became their most effective advocate to obtain promised government support.
Soon the settlement had new houses and a new church, school and orphanage. Morale improved considerably. A few years later he succeeded in getting the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse, led by Mother Marianne Kope, to help staff this colony in Kalaupapa.
Damien contracted Hansen's disease and died of its complications. As requested, he was buried in Kalaupapa, but in 1936 the Belgian government succeeded in having his body moved to Belgium. Part of Damien's body was returned to his beloved Hawaiian brothers and sisters after his beatification in 1995.
When Hawaii became a state in 1959, it selected Damien as one of its two representatives in the Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.
Took Chris to Kaanapali (sp) when he was smaller and portable and we could see the Island Fr. Damian served on from our hotel room.
Ahhhhh memories of roasted pig and Poi Poi.
I also remember reading about the Nuns (nurses) who first arrived at the Island and found the horrid living conditions and all the work they did to clean up and make it habitable.
Don't remember the Sisters name.
This is the Article that I was talking about.
I have also included a Link from the original article. If you all want can read it at the original link.
May 3, 2006
Polish Missioner Buried Hailing Decades Of Service In Hindu Temple City
BHUBANESWAR, India (UCAN) -- Church leaders and local people are mourning the death of a Polish missioner whose decades of work among leprosy patients in eastern India moved many hearts.
Divine Word Father Marian Zelazek was 88 years old when he passed away on April 30, following a massive cardiac arrest at the facility he built for leprosy patients in the outskirts of Puri, a Hindu holy city in Orissa state.
His Karunalaya (house of mercy) Leprosy Center is 70 kilometers south of the state capital, Bhubaneshwar, which is 1,745 kilometers east of New Delhi.
About 600 people attended the missioner's funeral on May 2 in Jharsuguda, about 300 kilometers northwest of Bhubaneswar. He was buried there in the cemetery attached to the provincial house of the Divine Word Society.
During the requiem Mass, Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, a Divine Word Society confrere, eulogized the Polish missioner as a saintly witness of Christ's love to the poor and an example to other priests.
Soon after receiving word that Father Zelazek had died, the archbishop told UCA News that Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese had "lost a living saint ... an ideal priest who truly lived Gospel values."
Archbishop Cheenath recalled Father Zelazek saying he "died many times" during the five years he spent in Dachau concentration camp in World War II. The archbishop reported the missioner as also saying God gave him "yet another 50 years of life," so why should he "worry about anything, even death."
Father Zelazek was born on Jan. 30, 1918, in Poznan, Poland. He entered Religious life during World War II and, as a novice, was seized by the Nazis and sent to the Dachau camp. More than 30,000 people sent there reportedly were killed or died from the treatment they received in the camp during the war.
In 1950, two years after his ordination, Father Zelazek reached India. According to his confreres, he quickly established himself as a zealous missioner, skillful teacher and efficient vocation promoter, particularly among tribal Christians, with whom he worked at the Sambalpur mission.
in 1975, Father Zelazek was transferred from Sambalpur to work in a parish in Puri, in Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese. People afflicted with leprosy and fisher folk, both relegated to the bottom of society, were living there.
Father Zelazek decided to eradicate leprosy and to rehabilitate people with the disease then living along the roadsides. He eventually set up a "colony" or a settlement area for leprosy patients, and 1,500 people now live there.
Until he died 31 years later, the priest remained in the colony to take care of the people's spiritual, material and medical needs. Some of those cured of the disease while at the colony now live with their respective families.
Local Hindus once explained to UCA News that the Catholic priest had cured their misconception that leprosy, or Hansen's disease, is a curse from God and its victims are untouchables.
The priest set up a school for children of leprosy patients and a hospital. He also initiated income-generating programs such as bandage making, brickmaking, gardening, poultry raising, rope making, sewing and weaving.
In recognition of his work with leprosy patients, Father Zelazek was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 and 2003 but he did not win it.
Residents of the colony are grieving his passing. Nabarang Nalua, 52, describing the priest as their "savior and living god," told UCA News, "We have lost him forever, so we have lost our emotional support."
Others who also told UCA News how much they appreciated Father Zelazek include a Divine Word confrere, Father Richard Vaz, who said the Polish missioner won a place "in the hearts of the deprived lepers just as Jesus became the hope for the poor in his time." Father Joseph Topno, the Divine Word superior, called the late priest his society's "perfect follower of Christ." The provincial superior explained that "the Word was accomplished through him in the hearts of lepers," for whom he "gave his whole life."
B.C. Roy, president of the local Rotary Club, told UCA News that Rotary members were "shocked by the sudden demise of our beloved" fellow member. Roy described Father Zelazek as "a servant of God and friend of the poor."
Thanks for that article!
Just went to the link for the recipe on the suggested menu for the day from what Salvation posted about our Saint for the day and boy oh boy wish I did not live 4hrs away from Portlands China Town as they have Roasted Suckling Pork.
You too, live in the State of Oregon. I had gotten the mistaken impression that you were from Texas.
I was initially surprised that you sent me this comment about this recipe, since I am a guy.
I don't cook too much at all. But, sometimes I help my Mom as long as it is not a complicated dish to be prepared.
I like Pork related stuff to eat but not too much of it because like Beef it is a red meat and can lead to a high level of Cholestrol and Triglycerides too.
I love a Sausage Pizza as well as some Local Pork related Recipes and dishes where I am originally from.
I am sort of Health conscious and more so for the last few years.
But, Yes -- "Roasted Suckling Pork" sounds yummy.
I am familiar with Salem, Oregon Yakima which is in the State of Washington, Seattle, and I have some freinds who live near Baker, Oregon.
Have you ever tried "Portuguese Chorizo" ?
Here is the Recipe -- if you are interested.
Portuguese Chorizo and Peppers
2 pounds chorizo sausage, casings removed and crumbled
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 cup water
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
In a slow cooker, combine the sausage, green pepper, onion, tomato paste, wine, water and crushed garlic.
Stir so that everything is evenly distributed. Cover and set on low.
Cook for 8 hours. Uncover the pot and cook an additional 2 hours to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
Serve over rice or with Portuguese bread.
Makes 8 servings.
Me to MilesJesu on the health side.
I put my diabetes in remission and lowered the Cholesteral to normal with losing wieght, walking and following the American Diabetes Assc. eating guidelines.
But one can dream. For Easter I was craving Peking Duck. Again thank God I live so far from Portland.
My splurge living on the Coast is Crab and Morro Bay Shrimp with Pica Del Gallo Salsa and fresh cilantro with a 1/2 of an Avacado. Salsa is a free food in the health watch diet choice.
OK now sorry to get off the subject here of our Daily readings and Prayers.
As, long as Salvation does not get upset with us -- I guess it is ok regarding this Recipe Stuff.
My Mom always tells me quite often that it is Jesus and Mary specially Jesus Christ who inspires her what to cook for a certain day and most of the time it will not be what she had planned at the start of the day.
Salvation may also be interested in this recipe that I posted. it is served in those parts of the United States where there are a lot of Portuguese Americans who run Restaurants/Eateries specially in a place called "New Bedford" Massachussets.
There are a lot of Portuguese Americans who live on the East Coast specially in MA.
I personally love the Pacific North West specially Oregon, Washington, and Northern California but unfortunately these areas are not very Catholic and are in need of urgent evangelization.
I personally love the Pacific North West specially Oregon, Washington, and Northern California but unfortunately these areas are not very Catholic and are in need of urgent evangelization
I like to eat too! LOL! And some of those recipes really do celebrate the culture in which the saint grew up. Or, for example, the culture of the season -- the Seder meal recipes during Holy Week!
No problem here.
** these areas are not very Catholic and are in need of urgent evangelization**
Exactly why Kevorkian and the leftist killers got the Assisted Suicide law passed in Oregon!
When I was in Law School in the United States, I had written a paper on the prevalent "Health Care Law" but from a Catholic Perspective.
Part of my paper included my perpective on Euthanasia,Assisted Suicide etc.
I had done a lot of research on Dr. Killer Jack Kevorkian.
Sad to say my paper was not accepted by my major Law Professor. He asked me even to drop the course midway through the Semester.
He felt that I was some sort of Bible Belt Fundamentalist simply because I was Pro Life and did not agree with his Perspective.
He was an Ultra- Liberal Jew and hated all the Teachings of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church period.
Good grief, where were you going to law school? My son is at Gonzaga, and if something like that had happened, I am sure I would know about it!
Different churches do different things. It's called a neophyte class. That's what the newly baptized, confirmed and accepted for the Communion of the Lord are called.