Father Damien, or rather Jozef de Veuster, is an extraordinary man whose life's work was helping the lepers. He was born on 3 January 1840 year in the Belgian town Tremelo as one of seven siblings. Like his older brother and sister, he joined the convent. He chose the most difficult path to holiness. A path full of sacrifices and risks. The desire to serve the needy led him to the kingdom of Hawaii, and more precisely to the island of Moloka'i, which was a home-place of seclusion- for patients infected with leprosy, then an incurable disease.
He started his mission on 10 may 1873 year coming to the Kalaupapa settlement, inhabited by 600 lepers. Building new homes, schools, churches, and hospitals gave the inhabitants hope. He became their confidant and priest, sometimes a nurse, doctor or gravedigger. His mission, which lasted in 1873-1889, ended his death. In recent years he has been helping, although he was already infected. He died on 15 April 1889 year among friends, calm about the fact that his work would be continued by the Franciscan nuns who came to the island.
His work echoed widely in the world. The sacrifice with which he served the sick was something special. On 4 June 1995 year, father Damian was beatified by the Holy Father John Paul II. 11 October a guide 2009 Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed him a Saint. Grave brother of lepers, how often Damian's father was called, he is in the crypt, under the chapel of St. Antoni, in the Belgian city of Leuven.
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