Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pope Benedict to canonize Fr. Damien on Sunday; Obama praises Blessed Damien

Associated Press Sat Oct 10, 10:21 AM ET
Enlarge photo...

A tapestry depicting father Damien hangs outside St. Peter's Basilica Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009, ahead of the canonization Mass that will be celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday Oct. 11 at the Vatican. Father Damien, born as Jozef De Veuster in 1840, was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium who cared for leprosy victims on Molokai from 1873 to 1889, when the disease killed him. At right is St. Paul's statue. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Obama expresses admiration for Father Damien
(AP) – 1 day ago

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is expressing his admiration for Father Damien, a Hawaiian priest set to become a saint on Sunday when he is canonized in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI.

Obama was born and partly raised in Hawaii.

The president says he remembers stories about the Belgian-born priest's work on the island caring for people suffering from leprosy and the stigma attached to it. With millions worldwide suffering from disease, especially HIV/AIDS, Obama called on the world to follow Father Damien's example by "answering the urgent call to heal and care for the sick."

Damien was born Jozef De Veuster. The Roman Catholic priest was beloved by the lepers he ministered to for 16 years before dying of the disease himself in 1889.

See also from the White House-Press Office, "Statement by the President
on the Canonization of Blessed Damien de Veuster,


At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The work that Father Damien did for those who suffered from leprosy is inspirational and humbling. Today American Leprosy Missions is curing people who still have this terrible disease.

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Dr. Denice Hanley, DPM, M.Div. said...

Thanks for the information.

Here's the link for those you might want more information and/or to contribute:


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