Saturday, June 21, 2014

Father Damien

The reason I enjoyed seeing this statue is because I'm an advocate for ending Hansen's disease (leprosy). It's still alive and well in Brazil and India and many other countries. There is a cure, and a blood test for early detection in Brazil, and they are now working on a vaccine. More to come later -- helping end one of the world's oldest known diseases!

The Father Damien Statue, also called the Saint Damien of Molokaʻi Statue, is the centerpiece of the entrance to the Hawaiʻi State Capitol and the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. A second bronze cast is displayed in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol along with the Kamehameha Statue. The landmark memorializes the famous Hawaiʻi Catholic Church priest from Belgium who sacrificed his life for the lepers of the island of Molokaʻi. Father Damien is considered one of the preeminent heroes of Hawaiʻi, and was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009. Cast in bronze, the statue depicts Father Damien in his later years after being diagnosed with the disease of those he attended.

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