Blessed Damian

About Him

Father Damien or Saint Damien of Molokai, born in Tremelo, Belgium on the 3rd of January 1840 under the name of Jozef De Veuster. He was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium and member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a missionary religious institute. He won recognition for his ministry to people with leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease), who had been placed under a government-sanctioned medical quarantine on the island of Molokaʻi in the Kingdom of Hawaii.

After sixteen years caring for the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of those in the leper colony, he eventually contracted and died of the disease, and is considered a "martyr of charity". He was the tenth person recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church to have lived, worked, and/or died in what is now the United States. In both the Latin Rite and the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, Damien is venerated as a saint.