Outcasts

Father Damien, Molokai, Lepers, Catholic saint
In 1865, Hawaiian lepers were quarantined for life on the island of Molokai. Without adequate food supplies or medical care, the hopeless victims lived like beasts. Drunkenness, crime and perversion were rampant.

Knowing it was probably his death sentence, a 33-year-old Belgian monk volunteered to help. Father Damien had already shown his love for the Hawaiian people ministering on the Big Island and learning their language. Now he shared the message of Christ with the lepers of Molokai: dressing wounds, planting orchards, importing cattle, and seeking government support. He also built houses, a church, two orphanages, and an aqueduct for fresh water.

Others helped him until the government forbid visitors. But Damien stayed and lived among these outcasts, eventually contracting leprosy and dying at age 49. 

No matter our denominational background, Father Damien’s example is inspiring (James 2:14-17; Hebrews 10:24). 

His life is also a picture of God’s love: If Christ had not come and lived among us, we would be nothing more than hopeless outcasts.

Resources: Father Damien
Leprosy (Hansens Disease) facts
images: Father Damien and Father Damien with the Molokai Girls' Choir (both public domain)

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15 comments:

  1. We saw the movie about his life, sensational! I was blown away by his selfish devotion!

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    1. Would love to know the info on the movie, Jacqueline, for myself and my readers. thanks.

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  2. Hi Gail,
    Love to hear stories like this! Would love it if you can post more role models for our faith. DO you know the name of the movie your follower Jes is talking about?
    Thanks

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  3. I really enjoyed this story. Thanks for sharing it and I hope you are having a wonderful time in Hawaii :-)

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  4. What an ambitious man who sacrificed his own life by helping others in need. Would luv to see the movie. Thanks for sharing this, Gail.

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  5. I've never considered how a story like this one is an example of Christ's love. Thank you so much for sharing this, I'm glad I stopped over from Facebook.

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  6. That is so cool! I have never heard that story before. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  7. The movie I saw is called "Molokai: The Story of Father Damien." I can't remember the name of the actor who played Fr. Damien, but a supporting cast member was Peter O'Toole and there were some other well-known names. It is available on DVD on Netflix, but not instant streaming. Yes, I agree. Amazing man.

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  8. I am familiar with this story, but each time I am reminded I am filled with renewed awe.

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  9. I have never heard of this story! What an incredible demonstration of grace & sacrificial love...paralleling so beautifully what Christ did for us!

    UNITED in Him,
    Jen

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  10. I've not heard this story but will now look for the movie mentioned above. Sounds like an incredible story and person. Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Thanks for sharing this. God sure does work in our lives in different ways! God Bless.

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  12. Fr. Damian was truly an inspiration. He was canonized in 2011. He is now St. Damian of Molokai. Just think what a better world this would be if we are were just a little more like him.

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  13. Very inspiring! Makes you wonder if you could be that committed to helping others!?!

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