New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Flanders, 1840 – Hawai’i, 1889
On October 11, 2009, Joseph De Veuster, better known as Father Damien, was canonized by the Vatican. He was the tenth person recognized as a Saint by the Catholic Church to have lived, worked, or died in what is now the United States. To commemorate and celebrate Father Damien’s legacy in New York City, 33rd Street between First and Second Avenues has been named “Father Damien Way” in honor of this remarkable Belgian priest.
Joseph De Veuster was born in Tremolo in Flanders, Belgium in 1840. He entered the Congregation of the Sacred Heats of Jesus and Mary in Leuven, took the name of Damien, and left for Hawai’I as a missionary in 1864.
Once arriving in Kalaupapa on the island of Molo0ka’I, he took care of those who had been spurned by society because of Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy. For 16 years, Father Damien cared for the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of those who had been confined to the colony until he eventually contracted the disease and succumbed to it in 1899.
Father Damien’s legacy of faith, compassion, and dedication for the most vulnerable among us is an inspiration
“Following in the steps of Jesus’ ministry to the lepers, Fr. Damien challenged the stigmatizing effects of disease, giving voice to the voiceless and ultimately sacrificing his own life to bring dignity to so many.”
President Barack Obama
Flanders State of the Art
Plaque presented by the Hon. Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President of the Government of Flanders and H.E. Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, commemorating the co-naming of Father Damien Way on May 11, 2015.
Gift of the General Representation of the Government of Flanders in the United States to the Archdiocese of New York.
Erected 2015 by General Representation of the Government of Flanders in the United States.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Churches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #44 Barack Obama series list.
Location. 40° 44.622′ N, 73° 58.508′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker can be reached from East 33rd Street west of First Avenue, on Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 325 E 33rd St, New York NY 10016, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Migrations (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Murray Hill WWI Memorial (about 700 feet away); St. Vartan’s Park (about 700 feet away); E34th Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); Vincent F. Albano Jr. Playground (approx. 0.2 miles away); ACS Children's Center (approx. ¼ mile away); Malvina Hoffman (approx. ¼ mile away); Sniffen Court (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Also see . . .
1. Father Damien. Wikipedia biography. (Submitted on July 20, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. Father Damien Way NYC. Hawai'i Magazine entry. (Submitted on July 20, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 20, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 55 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 20, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.