Father Damien steps towards Sainthood

Bust of Father Damien at Kalaupapa Molokai
Bust of Father Damien at Kalaupapa Molokai

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Joseph De Veuster better known as Father Damien will be canonized a Saint. News from the Vatican on Thursday, July 3 confirmed the change.

Steps towards Sainthood occurred after Pope Benedict XVI approved a miracle that took place in 1999 when a Honolulu woman was cured from terminal lung cancer after visiting the Damien Memorial in Kalaupapa, Molokai.

Father Damien was famous for his care of a colony of lepers who lived as outcasts in a remote area of Molokai. After years of helping to treat those with leprosy Father Damien later succumbed to the disease himself.

"I am gently going to my grave. It is the will of God, and I thank Him very much for letting me die of the same disease and in the same way as my lepers," Father Damien wrote in a letter to his brother shortly before his death.

"I am very satisfied and very happy, " he said.

Father Damien was 49 when he died April 15, 1889 he is buried in the cemetery next to his church.

The date for the canonization is yet to be announced.