An island of the northern Pacific group formerly called Sandwich Islands, now park of the state of Hawaii.
Its area is 261 square miles, and it is fifth in size and population of the eight large islands.
In 1866 the United States Board of Health moved the leper settlement from Kalihi, Oahu, to the Molokai Peninsula, a projection of land on the northern part of the island.
Here are situated the United States Leprosarium and the Baldwin Home, while the old hospital at Kalihi, founded in 1865, is retained for those who have the disease in its early stages.
The most famous persons connected with the settlement are Father Damien, "the Apostle of the Lepers," who labored for the spiritual welfare of the lepers, 1873-1889, and Brother Dutton, who assisted him, 1886, and eventually carried on his work.
There are two missions in the settlement: Saint Philomena's, Kalawao, and Saint Francis's, Kalaupapa.
New Catholic Dictionary