Tuesday, November 3, 2009

BELGIUM ~Tremelo-Father Damien~

Belgium issued a sheetlet with 5 stamps on Oktober 5 for the canonization of Father Damien.  
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I visited the birthplace of Father Damien in Tremelo. It is now a museum with many personal belongings and items from Hawaii and Molokai where he lived and died, certainly worth a visit!! He must have been a really speciale person....
Father Damien or Saint Damien of Molokai, . (Dutch: Pater Damiaan or Heilige Damiaan van Molokai; January 3, 1840 – April 15, 1889), born Jozef De Veuster, was a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium . 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 Molokai 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 widely considered a "martyr of charity".
The canonization of Damien de Veuster to sainthood ends a process that began in 1977 when the Vatican elevated the Belgium native to venerable. Pope John Paul II beatified Damien and raised him to the title of blessed. Sunday October 11 2009 was the final step to sainthood.

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