By Jan de Volder
Foreword through John Allen
Father Damien, recognized for his missionary paintings with exiled lepers at the Hawaiian island of Molokai, is eventually Saint Damien. His sanctity took a hundred and twenty years to develop into formally famous, yet among his dying in 1889 and his canonization in 2009—amid creeping secularization and suspicion of the missionary spirit he quite a bit embodied—Fr. Damien De Veuster by no means light from the world’s reminiscence. What stored him there? What retains him there now?
To locate a solution, Belgian historian and journalist Jan De Volder sifted via Father Damien’s own correspondence in addition to the Vatican information. With cautious and even-handed services, De Volder follows Father Damien’s transformation from the stout, a bit of haughty missionary of his adolescence, bounding from Europe to Hawaii and instantly into probably tireless priestly paintings, to the common-or-garden and loving shepherd of souls who finally succumbed to a similar affliction that ravaged his flock.
De Volder unearths that—as religious father, caretaker, instructor, and advocate—Father Damien comprehensive many heroic feats for those negative outcasts. but the best reward he gave them was once their transformation from a disordered, lawless throng exiled in determined anarchy right into a dwelling group outfitted on Jesus Christ, a neighborhood within which they discovered to take care of each other.
Every new release turns out to have its personal photograph of this world-famous priest. Already in the course of his lifestyles on Molokai and at his dying in 1889, many thought of him a holy guy. Even at the present time, within the hugely secularized Western international, he's commonly well-liked. In 2005 his local Belgium venerated him with the name "the maximum Belgian" in polling carried out by means of their public broadcasting provider. Statues honor his reminiscence within the nationwide Statuary corridor of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and on the front to the Hawaiian nation Capitol in Honolulu. In 1995, within the presence of mom Teresa of Calcutta, Pope John Paul II beatified him in Brussels, Belgium; and in 2009 Pope Benedict XVI canonized him in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. at the present time Father Damien is the unofficial client of outcasts and people with HIV/AIDS.
De Volder contends that the typical thread working in the course of the saint’s existence, the spirit of dad Damien that so speaks to the realm, is right away uniquely Christian, totally human, and as very important at the present time as ever prior to.
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Additional info for The Spirit Of Father Damien
The Spirit Of Father Damien by Jan de Volder