Monday, 12 October 2009

Damien the Leper.

Fr Damien as portayed on the reredos in St. Thomas the Apostle Hollywood (an Episcopal church).

Laying aside mad African saints, I was really rather delighted to see that the Pope has made Damien the Leper a saint. A Belgian missionary who devoted his life to caring for lepers in Hawaii, I recall hearing of him first when I saw a film years ago with (I think) Jose Ferrer in the lead role. The offical blurb is really good (especially given that it is from the Vatican.

"Today as then, the world knows rejected persons of all kinds: the incurably ill (victims of AIDS or other diseases), abandoned children, disoriented youths, exploited women, neglected elderly people, and oppressed minorities. For all who suffer, Damien remains the voice reminding us that the infinite love of God is full of compassion and consolation, confidence and hope, his a voice that denounces injustice. In Damien we can all recognize the herald of the Good News. Like the Good Samaritan, he went to the aid of those whom sickness had cast aside along the road. This is what makes Damien an example for all men and women who wish to be involved in thestruggle for a more just, more humane world, a society more conformed to the heart of God.

The Servant of God, Damien is and remains for all the servant of the human person, the servant of a humanity that needs to live, but even more needs reasons for living. This is the Damien who challenges us even today!"
A good guy and a fine addition to the Calendar. Ora pro nobis!

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