Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First Feastday of St. Damien of Moloka'i

People lined up to view the relic of St. Damien of Moloka'i at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, before and after the special Mass held in his honor. All viewers could touch the reliquary. This took place on Monday, May 10, 2010, the first time Hawai'i celebrated the feast day of Fr. Damien as a saint. Fr. Damien was canonized on October 11, 2009. The 12n Mass at the Cathedral was officiated by Fr. Gordon Gomes, Associate Pastor.

Relic of St. Damien of Moloka'i
(right heel)

Photos by Easter A.

Here's an article sent to me by St. Margaret Charles:
AMERICA/UNITED STATES - Hawaii celebrates feast of St. Damien of Molokai for first time since canonization

Honolulu (Agenzia Fides) – Today, the state of Hawaii will be celebrating the feast of their first saint, St. Damien of Molokai, for the first time since his canonization in Rome on October 11, 2009. The state of Hawaii includes the island of Molokai, where the Belgian missionary spent the last sixteen years of his life serving the Lord and the leper colony on the island. The feast day of the “Apostle of the Lepers” is celebrated on May 10, as it marks the day the saint arrived on Molokai: May 10, 1873.

According to a note sent to Fides by Patrick Downes, editor of the “Hawaii Catholic Herald,” the newspaper for the Diocese of Honolulu, the first feast day of the saint will be “celebrated modestly.” In the morning, beginning at 10am, “ the outdoor bronze statue of Father Damien will be the site of the now familiar ceremony of songs, prayers and lei presentations,” organized by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts. It will begin with a welcome by Sacred Hearts Father Lane Akiona, a performance of Hawaii Ponoi performed by Maryknoll School students, and an invocation by vicar general Father Marc Alexander. The program will include a Scripture reading, a reflection by Sacred Hearts Father Herman Gomes, a hula by students from Sacred Hearts Academy, the draping of the statue with leis, the singing of “E Kamiano” and “Hawaii Aloha,” and a benediction by Sacred Hearts Father Christopher Keahi. In the evening, Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu will celebrate the feast day Mass at 6 p.m. at the co-cathedral. The relic of St. Damien, now on display at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, will be brought to the Kapalama church for veneration that evening.

Saint Damien of Molokai, with his words and life, is an example for all missionaries and faithful. He once said: “Without the constant presence of our Divine Master upon the altar in my poor chapels, I never could have persevered casting my lot with the lepers of Molokai.” (AR) (Agenzia Fides 10/5/2010)

Article sent by:
Sr. Margaret Kerry, fsp
50 St Paul’s Ave
Boston, MA 02130

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This blogpost is also found on A Tribute to Our Priests