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September 3, 2020

Read 1 Peter 4:1-2 (https://bit.ly/3ln7Sud)

Jozel De Veuster quit school at thirteen to help on his father’s farm. He wanted to become a Catholic priest, but his superiors questioned his lack of education. However, they knew he was intelligent and admitted him to the religious profession in 1860, at which time he took the name Father Damien. Father Damien was sent as a missionary to Hawaii in 1864 and soon volunteered to minister to the leper colony on Molokai. Lepers living in medical quarantine mandated by the government suffered from a lack of proper food, shelter, and clothing. Damien helped establish leaders in the community; together they built houses, schools, roads, hospitals, and churches. He provided medical and emotional support as he cared for lepers’ wounds. Eleven years later he developed leprosy, but worked tirelessly until his death in 1889. In life and death, he followed God. He knew what it was to suffer, but he did it willingly for the sake of others. His legacy continues to this day.

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