Saint Joseph de Veuster

Saint Joseph de VeusterAlso known as

  • Apostle to the Lepers
  • Damian de Veuster
  • Father Damien

Memorial

Profile

Son of a small farmer. Studied at the college at Braine-le-Comte, Belgium. Joined the Picpus Fathers on 7 October 1860, taking the name Damien. Seminarian in Paris, France. Volunteered for missionary work while still in seminary, and was sent to Hawaii. Ordained in Honolulu on 24 May 1864. Missionary on islands where his single parish was the size of all of his native Belgium. Resident priest in the leper colony on Molokai where for years he worked alone to minister to the patients’ spiritual and medical needs. His work turned a wretched dump for the unwanted into a real community with the best treatment of the day, and patients who lived strong spiritual lives. He contracted leprosy in 1885, and though severely crippled by the disease, Father Damien worked until the end.

Born

Died

Venerated

Beatified

Canonized

Patronage

Readings

The Blessed Sacrament is indeed the stimulus for us all, for me as it should be for you, to forsake all worldly ambitions. Without the constant presence of our Divine Master upon the altar in my poor chapels, I never could have persevered casting my lot with the lepers of Molokai; the foreseen consequence of which begins now to appear on my skin, and is felt throughout the body. Holy Communion being the daily bread of a priest, I feel myself happy, well pleased, and resigned in the rather exceptional circumstances in which it has pleased Divine Providence to put me. - Father Damien

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Joseph de Veuster“. Saints.SQPN.com. 10 October 2014. Web. 25 October 2014. <>