The production is presented by WPM PRODUCTIONS, Inc. Father (Saint) Damien Story Born in Tremolo, Belgium on January 3, 1840, Joseph DeVeuster took the name Damien after joining the religious life with
The production is presented by WPM PRODUCTIONS, Inc.
Father (Saint) Damien Story Born in Tremolo, Belgium on January 3, 1840, Joseph DeVeuster took the name Damien after joining the religious life with the Order of the Sacred Hearts. In 1864, he was sent to Honolulu, where he was ordained. For the next decade, he did mission work on the Big Island of Hawaii. In 1873, he went to the isolated island of Molokai, after volunteering to live and work among the leper colony there. While he committed himself to lepers of all ages, he was especially concerned about the children of these forgotten people who had been segregated from their families and loved ones. Damien himself was declared a leper in 1885, but continued his work, building chapels, clinics, cottages and a hospital. A skilled carpenter, he personally constructed hundreds of cottages and thousands of coffins for his flock. Damien died on Easter Monday night, April 15, 1889 at his quarters at the Kalawao settlement on Molokai.
Under constant criticism during his lifetime, Damien’s honor and life’s work was defended by the legendary author of Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson, whose letter in support of the “Hero of Molokai” is considered a literary classic in its own right.
Damien was declared venerable in 1977. Saint Pope John Paul II declared him beatified on June 4, 1995. He became Saint Damien at a canonization ceremony at the Vatican presided by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009. Saint Damien’s feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his passing to eternal life each year on April 15.
Aldyth Morris, The Author of the play Damien was living in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1936, when the body of the Flemish priest, Father Damien de Veuster, was exhumed from its grave at the Leper Settlement on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai and brought back to the priest’s native land of Belgium. It was another forty years until this play was written, but since its first performance, there seems always to be an actor, professional or amateur, who wants to perform the role. The play has been translated into Flemish, French, Japanese, and Spanish. It has been performed in Australia, Belgium, Japan, Hawaii, across the United States in Canada and in Edinburgh and Dublin. A television production of Damien by Hawaii Public Television has been shown throughout the United States, receiving a Peabody Award, and has been published for home viewing.
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