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St. Damien of Molokai

Saint Damien of Molokai


Jozef De Veuster was born in the year of Our Lord 1840 to a farming family in Belgium. He was sent to college to learn business, but thanks to a Redemptorist mission, he discerned a vocation to the priesthood. He joined the Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, taking the name Damien, and was ordained a priest in 1864, shortly after arriving in Honolulu, Hawaii. Filled with zeal and good health, Father Damien threw himself into missionary work on the Hawaiian Islands, constructing several chapels with his own hands. In 1873, he volunteered to become the resident priest of a leper colony on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. Though other priests had also volunteered to serve in rotation, Father Damien requested to be assigned permanently, as he built the colony from a pit of misery into the best community possible, eventually receiving great public support. In 1885, the first signs of the disease appeared on Father Damien himself. With the assistance of other missionaries, including the future Saint Marianne Cope, he continued his work until the disease rendered him helpless. In the year of Our Lord 1889, Father Damien died in the colony he had served for fifteen years.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 10th

ST. ANTONINUS, confessor and archbishop of Florence, whose birthday is the 2d of May.

At Rome, on the Latin road, the birthday of the holy martyrs Gordian and Epimachus. In the time of Julian the Apostate, the former was a long time scourged and finally decapitated for confessing the name of Christ. He was buried at night by the Christians, in a crypt to which, shortly before, the remains of the blessed martyr Epimachus had been translated from Alexandria, where he had been martyred for the faith of Christ.

In the land of Hus, the holy prophet Job, a man of wonderful patience.

At Rome, the blessed priest and martyr Calepodius, who was killed with the sword, by order of the emperor Alexander. His body was dragged through the city and thrown into the Tiber. It was afterwards found and buried by Pope Callistus. The consul Palmatius was also beheaded with his wife, his sons, and forty-two of both sexes belonging to his household; likewise, the senator Simplicius with his wife, and sixty-eight of his house; Felix also with his wife Blanda. The heads of all these martyrs were exposed over different gates of the city, to terrify the Christians.

Also, at Rome, on the Latin way, the birthday of the holy martyrs Quartus and Quinctus, whose bodies were translated to Capua.

At Lentini, in Sicily, the holy martyrs Alphius, Philadelpus, and Cyrinus.

At Smyrna, St. Dioscorides, martyr.

At Bologna, blessed Nicholas Albergati, a Carthusian monk, bishop of that city, and Cardinal of the holy Roman Church, celebrated for his holiness and Legations Apostolic. His body was buried at Florence, in the monastery of the Carthusians.

At Taranto, St. Cataldus, a bishop renowned for miracles.

At Milan, the finding of the bodies of the holy martyrs Nazarius and Celsus. The blessed bishop Ambrose found the body of St. Nazarius covered with blood still fresh, which he translated to the basilica of the Apostles, together with the body of the blessed boy Celsus, whom Nazarius had brought up, and whom Anolinus, in the persecution of Nero, had ordered to be struck with the sword on the 28th of July, the day when their martyrdom is commemorated.

At Madrid, St. Isidore, a laborer. Being renowned for miracles, pope Gregory XV placed him in the number of the Saints at the same time with St. Ignatius, St. Francis, St. Theresa, and St. Philip.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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