“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Honolulu in Honolulu County, Hawaii — Hawaiian Island Archipelago (Pacific Ocean)

Father Damien

The Reverend Joseph Damien De Veuster, SS. CC.


—Hawaii —

Father Damien Monument image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 23, 2008
1. Father Damien Monument
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. —John 15:13

Born a farmer’s son at Tremeloo, Belgium, January 3, 1840. Damien joined the Missionary Congregation of the Sacred Heart and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu in 1864. In 1873 he volunteered to serve alone at the leprosy settlement on the island of Molokai. For sixteen years he lived and worked among leprosy victims of all faiths and races. He ministered to their doomed bodies and, by his presence gave them the assurance they so desperately needed that they had not been forsaken either by God or by men. On April 14, 1889. Damien died among his people, of leprosy.

The sculptress Marisol Escobar, working from photographs of the dying priest, saw in Damien ‘the mystery of physical transformation—as if he had become what he wanted to become.”

Fear Banished the Suffering. In memory of the more than 7,200 victoms of Hansen’s Disease and their helpers (kōkua) who died in remote Kalawao and Kalaupapa, land of the exiled. Their courage and compassion spared others from their own tragic fate.

Na Ka Maka‘u Kipaku I Ka ‘Eha. He ho‘omana‘o aloha kēla i na kānaka luaahi o ka ma‘i ho‘oka‘awale a me ko lākou
Father Damien Monument image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 23, 2008
2. Father Damien Monument
1967 bronze by Marisol Escobar is 7½ feet tall.
mau kōkua, he 7,200 a ‘oi, i make i ka ‘āina mehameha‘o Kalawao me Kalaupapa, noho ‘ia e ka po‘e i wae‘ia ma muli o ua ma‘i weliweli nei. Na ko lākou wiwo‘ole a me ke aloha i ho‘opakele i ka po‘e ‘ē a‘e mai ke alo pōpilikia a lākou i alo ai.
Erected 1968.
Location. 21° 18.459′ N, 157° 51.417′ W. Marker is in Honolulu, Hawaii, in Honolulu County. Marker is on South Beretania Street north of Punchbowl Street, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. It is in front of the Hawaii State Capitol. Marker is at or near this postal address: 415 S Beretania St, Honolulu HI 96813, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Iolani Palace (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Kawaiaha‘o Landmark (approx. 0.2 miles away); King Kamehameha I (approx. 0.2 miles away); King William Charles Lunalilo (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hiram Bingham (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Kawaiaha'o Landmark (approx. 0.2 miles away); Kawaiaha'o Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Aliiolani Hale (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Honolulu.
Also see . . .  Blessed Damien de Veuster. Wikipedia entry. “On
Father Joseph Damien DeVeuster (1840–1889) image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 23, 2008
3. Father Joseph Damien DeVeuster (1840–1889)
May 10, 1873, Father Damien arrived at the secluded settlement at Kalaupapa. Bishop Maigret presented Damien to the colonists as ‘one who will be a father to you, and who loves you so much that he does not hesitate to become one of you; to live and die with you.’ The settlement was bordered by a steep mountain ridge. There were 816 lepers living at Kalaupapa. Damien’s first course of action was to build a church and establish the Parish of Saint Philomena.

“Father Damien’s role was not limited to being a priest. He is said to have dressed ulcers, built homes and beds, built coffins and dug graves.

“It has been stated that the Kingdom of Hawaii didn’t plan the settlement to be in disarray but did not provide sufficient resources and medical help. Damien’s arrival is seen by some as a turning point for the community. Under his leadership, basic laws were enforced, shacks became painted houses, working farms were organized and schools were erected.

“His symbols are a tree and a dove.” (Submitted on November 11, 2008.) 
Categories. Notable Persons
Father Damien Monument image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 23, 2008
4. Father Damien Monument
Father Damien Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, April 19, 2014
5. Father Damien Marker
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,448 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   5. submitted on , by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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