Father Damien’s sainthood: Here’s the complete TV and relic tour schedule
by: Sherie Char
posted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 at 02:03 AM
The Catholic Church officially recognized Hawaii’s beloved priest as a saint during a canonization ceremony in Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City. During the Rome ceremony, Pope Benedict XVI will present Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva with a Damien relic—his right heel bone. (Another relic, Damien’s right hand, is buried outside St. Philomena Church in Kalawao, Molokai, on the Kalaupapa peninsula).
Throughout October, the relic will travel to Michigan, California and, finally, Hawaii.
Damien is most known for taking care of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) patients on remote Kalaupapa peninsula. His canonization comes 120 years after his death from the same disease that took the lives of 8,000 people in Hawaii. Today, he’s also known as the unofficial patron of those with HIV and AIDS.
Several Hawaii residents have already left the Islands for a pilgrimage to Damien’s birthplace in Belgium before traveling to Rome for the canonization.
Hawaii Catholic parish and school groups will celebrate the historic event together in various parish halls or churches. For updates on locations and times, click here.
• Oct. 15: St. Mary’s Cathedral (San Francisco)—Evening veneration.
• Oct. 16: St. Joseph Basilica (Alameda)—Diocese of Oakland