April 15 - Saint Damien of Molokai

Quick Facts
  • Son of a small farmer.
  • Studied at the College of Braine-le-Comte.Joined the Fathers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Picpus Fathers) on 7 October 1860, taking the name Damien.
  • Seminarian in Paris, France.
  • Volunteered for missionary work while still in seminary, and was sent to Hawaii.
  • Ordained in Honolulu on 24 May 1864.
  • Missionary on islands where his single parish was the size of all of his native Belgium.
  • Resident priest in the leper colony on Molokai where for years he worked alone to minister to the patients' spiritual and medical needs.
  • His work turned a wretched dump for the unwanted into a real community with the best treatment of the day, and patients who lived strong spiritual lives.
  • He contracted leprosy in 1885, and though severely crippled by the disease, Father Damien worked until the end.