October 13, 2009

Priest Who Lived With Lepers: A Saint! (VIDEO)

Pope Benedict XVI chose 5 Catholics to be granted sainthood this week, including a famous priest from the 1800s who devoted his life to living with lepers and caring for them after the world had made them outcasts.

The priest, Jozef De Veuster AKA Father Damien, was from Belgium but worked in Hawaii with the lepers and had long been considered a candidate for sainthood. Several others who gave care to the sick and the elderly were also made saints by the church. (So perhaps if the govt gets a really good health care bill through... okay probably not.)

The process for becoming a Catholic saint, known as canonization, has evolved over the centuries to make sure no fictional folk heroes are canonized by the church. But this story of the priest who lived lepers seems to be entirely true, and certainly worthy of making him a saint! Hopefully we can all take inspiration from him and be kinder to those around us when our first instinct is to back away.

Priest Who Lived With Lepers a Saint
boston herald

A 19th-century priest who courageously worked with lepers in Hawaii was elevated to sainthood yesterday by Pope Benedict XVI, along with four other Catholics... Belgium-born Jozef De Veuster, also known as Father Damien, who himself died from leprosy in 1889 after contracting the disease while working with ostracized patients...

Priest Who Lived With Lepers a Saint

Posted at October 13, 2009 1:51 PM

There's a misspelling in paragraph #3.

There are grammar errors, too, but whatever.

Posted by: James at October 13, 2009 3:01 PM

James: If you're hoping to achieve sainthood through your philanthropic achievements as a grammarian, I'm not sure you'll have much luck on that mission. But thanks!

Posted by: Webmaster at October 13, 2009 3:30 PM

Father Damien was a Saint even when he lived. All you need to do is read the stories of how he took care of the lepers on Moloka'i. That part of our history is shameful. God Bless Father Damien.

Posted by: Kim at October 13, 2009 3:55 PM

No man can make another man a saint. Only God declares who will be with him in heaven and who won't. The Pope also says he has the power to forgive sins which is blasphemy!

Posted by: Frank Thomas at October 13, 2009 5:24 PM

As a child I ready Father Damien's biography (in the 50's). Saint or not he was an inspiration and should be recognized for his self-less work.

Posted by: NSuri at October 13, 2009 7:06 PM

To recognize and acknowledge a selfless human being should be a great event. Father Damian was truly one of these rare individuals. Pope Benedict is the voice of the Catholic Church, if you don't want to accept his view of Father Damian that is a totally your right. Father Damian is now known as Saint Damian and he fully deserves the acknowledgment.

Posted by: Betty at October 13, 2009 9:28 PM

It's wonderful that Father Damien worked with the lepers and did wonderful things! However, God's word calls all believers Saints! The Catholic's Diocese should be exalting Jesus through Father Damien's works and not him alone.

It is living,active faith in Jesus that activates our faith to produce miracles. Jesus came to heal us and save us. Jesus said that we as believers would do greater things(John 14:12) then Jesus did during His time on earth, but it would be the result of our faith in Him, and His finished work on the cross that guarantees us healing and wholeness!

In Philippians 4:21-23 Paul gave his final greetings to the Philippians and his final expression of good will towards them. He said, “Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” In these verses Paul calls believers “saints” and “brothers.” Callings us saints, which means holy ones, refers to our relationship with God. God calls us holy, not because of ourselves, but because of Jesus and through Jesus. Calling us brothers refers to our relationship with each other. All believers have the same Savior and the same Father God, and therefore we are members of the same spiritual family. Sometimes there is a lack of friendliness among believers and care for one another. We have splintered into too many groups that do not talk to each other. The Bible says to salute “every” saint. (this portion taken from biblegem.com)

In closing, we salute Father Damien but we exalt Jesus who is the true miracle maker. That way, Father Damien is blessed, and Jesus is glorified, Amen!!!!

Posted by: Nancy at October 13, 2009 9:44 PM

Hey Frank, lighten up. Rejoice that goodness has been rewarded. Don't be so judgmental. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Posted by: Conrad Sundol at October 13, 2009 11:17 PM

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