A Saint for Molokai

After a lengthy wait, sainthood may finally be awarded to one of Molokai’s most cherished and famous priests, Father Damien de Veuster. After his beatification by Pope John Paul II in 1995, the process towards sainthood took a significant step forward, and now additional efforts are being made to move the process along even further.

The requirements to be considered a saint in the Catholic Church depend on the classification of two miracles being attributed to the individual in question. Father Damien already has one miracle confirmed, which happened nearly a century ago when a nun was miraculously cured in France while praying for Damien.

There is currently a second miracle under review, involving a Honolulu woman’s spontaneous recovery from lung cancer, which was noted in the Hawai’i Medical Journal in 2000, an undeniably good sign for Father Damien’s case. However, despite the unexplainable cure a theological commission will still need to review and confirm the reports before making a formal recommendation to the pope. 

While he is best known for his work with the patients in the Kalaupapa area, Father Damien de Veuster worked with communities and churches throughout the Island. Father Clyde Guerreiro of Molokai belongs to the same Sacred Hearts order as Father Damien and has been following this process since he was a child.

Despite the pending confirmation of sainthood, Father Clyde has already seen an increase in visitors to the areas where Father Damien served, and feels that the confirmation of Father Damien to sainthood will only serve to increase the number of people making the pilgrimage to Molokai.


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