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Father Damien de Veuster, the Sacred Hearts priest who cared for Hansen's disease patients in Kalaupapa on Moloka'i and died of the disease in 1889, was canonized on Oct. 11. He is Hawai'i's first saint. See our special report.

Hawai'i Sens. Daniel Inouye, second from left, and Daniel Akaka, front second right, joined Honolulu Diocese Bishop Larry Silva, center, in front of St. Damien's statue in the Capitol.

Posted on: November 20, 2009 at 10:48 p.m.
Damien honored in D.C.
The word "saint" isn't used much on Capitol Hill. But it was yesterday among Hawai'i's lawmakers and a bishop from the Aloha State, who gathered to honor the recently canonized Saint Damien. The Catholic missionary spent his adult life caring for people with Hansen's disease on Moloka'i more than a century ago.

Damien de Veuster was born in Belgium in 1840 and arrived in Kalaupapa, the Moloka'i settlement for Hansen's disease patients, in 1873 at age 33. He died in 1889 of the disease. His legacy of service to the people of Kalaupapa will be honored with his elevation to sainthood.

Damien will be named a saint on Oct. 11, 2009, in Rome. Hundreds of Hansen's disease patients are expected to attend the canonization.

The Advertiser will provide in-depth, live coverage of the canonization of Father Damien this fall. Advertiser Staff Writer Mary Vorsino will be traveling with Honolulu Diocese Bishop Larry Silva on his official pilgrimage tour to Damien's birthplace in Belgium and to Rome. Eleven patients from Kalaupapa will also be traveling with the group.

Reach Mary at mvorsino@honoluluadvertiser.com.

Damien relic honored on Big Isle
Posted on: October 24, 2009 Photo gallery Video
KEAUKAHA, Hawaii — More than a century after Father Damien died among his brethren on a forgotten peninsula on Moloka'i, the memory of his sacrifice remains strong. A sacred relic — a bone from the right foot of the newly canonized Saint Damien de Veuster — entered the grounds of the Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church this week to the pealing of a bell and the sounding of a conch.
Like Damien, hala a blessing to humankind
Posted on: October 17, 2009
This column about hala is inspired by the canonization of our beloved St. Damien de Veuster.
Where Damien became a priest, the faithful celebrate
Posted on: October 12, 2009 Video
An overflow crowd packed Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in downtown Honolulu, the church where St. Damien was made a Catholic priest, just hours after his canonization in Rome.
Hawaii pilgrims celebrate as Damien finally gets his due
Posted on: October 12, 2009
At home, perhaps, they would have celebrated with a lu'au. But in Rome, they gathered for a six-course meal, topping off the dinner with a frosted cake that read, "St. Damien." More than 500 Hawai'i pilgrims gathered last night for a celebration dinner just hours after seeing the canonization of Father Damien in Vatican City.
Kalaupapa's citizens enthusiastic as they honor their new saint
Posted on: October 12, 2009
The people of Kalaupapa honored newly sainted Damien yesterday by walking in his footsteps in a heavy mist, carrying a banner bearing his likeness. As they passed the settlement's care home where Hansen's disease patients live, some in the procession yelled out, "Happy St. Damien's day!"
Damien sainted in soaring ceremony
Posted on: October 11, 2009
In front of at least 20,000 people this morning in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI made official what many in Hawai'i always knew — that "Kamiano" of Moloka'i, whose unwavering compassion in the face of so much suffering has become a parable for our times, led a life worthy of elevation to sainthood.


Advertiser Staff Writer Mary Vorsino will be traveling with Honolulu Diocese Bishop Larry Silva on his official pilgrimage tour to Damien's birthplace in Belgium and to Rome for Damien's canonization in October.Read Blog entries

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