Statue of St. Damien unveiled at Oahu school

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A seven foot statue of St. Damien de Veuster, Hawaii's patron saint, was unveiled Friday on the campus of Damien Memorial School.

The statue, which is composed of marble, was designed and constructed in Shanghai, China by Shanghai Best Look International. The school says the statue, which depicts the saint in his signature wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, cost around $6,000 to build and ship to Oahu.

The project was financed through a donation by Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Perreira of Honolulu.

Damien Memorial School on Oahu is named after the Belgian priest who cared for exiled leprosy patients on Molokai in the mid-1800s. He contracted the disease 12 years after his arrival in Kalaupapa, dying four years later.

He was canonized as a saint in 2009.

The school, which was founded in 1962 by the Christian Brothers of Ireland, is now run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers of Hawaii. The school will transition from an all-boys institution to a co-ed one next fall.

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