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St. Damien of Molokai: Apostle of the Exiled Paperback – 1 Sep 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor Inc.,U.S. (1 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592766102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592766109
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 13.6 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,480,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Margaret R. Bunson and Matthew E. Bunson have co-authored many authoritative reference works, including Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Catholic History and Encyclopedia of Saints.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Father Damien, or Saint Damien of Molokai, was born Jozef De Veuster on January 3rd 1840. He died April 15th 1889 a long way from home on Molokai in Hawaii. He served as a priest in the leper colony for 16 years before he succumbed to the disease. Damien has been canonized in both the Eastern and Latin rites. His feast day is celebrated May 10th. The process of his canonization took from 1977 until 2009.

But you might wonder why, and for me the pursuit of Damien his taken place over the last number of years. A few years back I was on retreat and the speaker was Michael W Higgins. During the retreat we watched the film adaptation of Fr. Damien's life Molokai directed by Paul Cox. Something in the portrayal of Damien in that film captured my attention. Since then I have kept an icon of Damien on my desk (it is an older image and calls him Blessed Damien not saint Damien) and I followed his canonization process. Since that time I have read or started to read a number of stories, biographies, and books about Molokai, Damien, Dutton and Mother Marianne. I have a feeling it will be a lifelong obsession. To steal from Higgins' book's title, it is Stalking the Holy. And in this case Stalking Father Damien.

Of everything that I have read and watched about Father Damien, I must state this is the best. It is an amazing biography of a man not easily understood. We can look back upon Damien's times, and his conflicts with authorities within and outside the church and it is easy to judge or be harsh. For Damien is a saint. But as this book details, saints are not always easy people, and often their plight is a very difficult path. St. Damien is no different.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Scrupulously thorough and spiritually challenging 1 Oct. 2009
By B. Polk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Bunsons successfully provide a detailed chronology of St. Damien's life while making it feel like the reader has been invited around the table for stories of an old friend. They thoroughly tell his story from birth through canonization--aided by rich historical context--which reads like fiction. It also includes a helpful timeline and deep appendices. This emotionally appealing text will be remembered by readers for the challenging presentation of St. Damien's hardships, hard work, and character flaws, but especially his charity. This book does exactly what a saint's biography should do: inform and inspire.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
An excellent account of a story worth your reading 18 Nov. 2009
By Amy Seltzer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I enjoy reading about the lives of the Saints, even if some are poorly written. I believe that in order to really understand what makes a person a Saint however, the reader must be placed into that person's world. So many biographies of the Saints tell us of their work among the poor or the miracles they procured, but leave us in the dark about what their lives were actually like. What did the world surround them with at the time that made their courage so exemplary? While so many stories of the Saints lack this information, Apostle of the Exiled: St. Damien of Molokai overflowed with it, much to my satisfaction.

The brief contemporary history of the islands of Hawaii begin the story of this man, whom the words brave and courageous do not even begin to describe. He fought past the prideful attitude of his superiors, who looked upon him as unworthy of the priesthood, to become ordained. His arrival on the islands was greeted with the staunch anti-Catholicism of the time. He had to fight the local bureaucracy that he could even set foot upon the islands where the exiled were being held. All of this turmoil, and he had yet to even encounter the disease that ravaged those he came to serve.

The story of his love for those who were cast aside is a most beautiful story of how one sees Christ in others. His reminds me of Mother Teresa, whom said she could not touch a leper for millions of dollars, but only for the love of Christ. In fact, his story parallels hers in many ways. They both set out to help the ostracized, and nothing was going to stop them. Honolulu's bishop John J. Scanlan captured the beauty of Damien's life when he spoke these words at the unveiling of the statue of Fr. Damien in Statuary Hall in the Rotunda of our nation's Capital:

Our country today is blessed beyond measure with the material things made possible by the intelligence, energy and industry of our people, but we need greater values for the human spirit. We need the understanding of and the dedication to the values to which the life of Damien gives witness. We need the recognition of the value of human life itself from its very beginnings. We need the recognition of the dignity of the human person, even the poorest and most wretched. We need a humanity possessed of a pity which is not condescending and of humility which thinks of duties before rights.

St. Damien's story is that of true beauty and true love, things that few consider when they think of leprosy and its victims. Damien's love for Christ within them brought a worldwide change in the attitude towards the disease and those it afflicted. It is a story worth reading.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Packed with information 26 April 2010
By Bella - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have read several books about Father Damien. None of them satisfied me except for this one. This book is full of details including the social/religious climate at the time and the time leading up to Father Damien coming to the islands. I read it in two days and could not put it down. Since I borrowed it, I now need to buy it so I can have it in my library. Following the reading of this book I watched a movie called "Molokai. The Story of Father Damien", a film by Paul Cox. The movie was good but of course could not give the topic the time required to really understand his situation. Reading the book prior to watching it greatly enhanced many scenes and explained why it seemed Damien could not get help from the government or even his own bishop. I highly recommend this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Well done! 10 April 2013
By Steven R. McEvoy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Father Damien, or Saint Damien of Molokai, was born Jozef De Veuster on January 3rd 1840. He died April 15th 1889 a long way from home on Molokai in Hawaii. He served as a priest in the leper colony for 16 years before he succumbed to the disease. Damien has been canonized in both the Eastern and Latin rites. His feast day is celebrated May 10th. The process of his canonization took from 1977 until 2009.

But you might wonder why, and for me the pursuit of Damien his taken place over the last number of years. A few years back I was on retreat and the speaker was Michael W Higgins. During the retreat we watched the film adaptation of Fr. Damien's life Molokai directed by Paul Cox. Something in the portrayal of Damien in that film captured my attention. Since then I have kept an icon of Damien on my desk (it is an older image and calls him Blessed Damien not saint Damien) and I followed his canonization process. Since that time I have read or started to read a number of stories, biographies, and books about Molokai, Damien, Dutton and Mother Marianne. I have a feeling it will be a lifelong obsession. To steal from Higgins' book's title, it is Stalking the Holy. And in this case Stalking Father Damien.

Of everything that I have read and watched about Father Damien, I must state this is the best. It is an amazing biography of a man not easily understood. We can look back upon Damien's times, and his conflicts with authorities within and outside the church and it is easy to judge or be harsh. For Damien is a saint. But as this book details, saints are not always easy people, and often their plight is a very difficult path. St. Damien is no different. This book not only chronicles Damien's time on the Hawaiian Islands, but his life leading up to that mission, and his lasting, and to some extent ever growing, impact.

This book is researched and footnoted like an academic paper, but reads like an adventure novel. The writing is fast-paced and often entertaining, considering the subject matter. With an extensive series of appendices and a great index, the book can be used for research and it gives an exhaustive suggested reading list. I dare anyone to read this book and not be challenged. They will find that their prayer life is altered. Damien is held up as an example and with great cause. So spend some time learning more about the man and dive into this incredible read.
Excellent! Highly recommend 29 April 2015
By Virginia D. Hte - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent! Highly recommend! Still reading a chapter a night! Loved that information is so thorough about circumstances in Damien's life!!!
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