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Holy Man: Father Damien of Molokai Reprint Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is a wonderful read. It brings to the light of the world a rather obscure life of a Catholic priest who belonged to the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts Fathers and worked in the mission of Hawaii. His devotion and dedication to the ministry in favor of the lepers and his eventual martyrdom as a leper seemed to have moved this non-Catholic writer to go into detailed research and strenuous investigation to bring out such a classic work on the subject. Gavan Daws does not idealize Fr Damien's life or make him a superman. According to him Fr Damien was an ordinary man, a priest with his own frailties and flaws, at the same time a hero and a martyr worthy to be called `holy.' The book in fact, is more than a mere biography of the leper priest. A lot of research and study has gone into the writing of this book which is a story of leprosy in the Hawaiian islands, a history of the Church in the second half of the nineteenth century, besides being the life of a saint-to-be. I hope that the book will inspire ordinary people to make deep personal commitments and fulfill them with extraordinary devotion and fervor.
2/22/09 - I just saw on MSNBC that Father Damien will be declared a saint on 10/11/09 at the Vatican ceremony! I can almost hear Father Damien chuckling in Heaven!
Finally, perusing my shelves for some Lenten Reading, Holy Man caught my attention. Yes, Lent would be a good time, and if I did feel repulsed, well it would be a good time to "offer it up." I was delighted to realize, after completing Holy Man, that I had been mesmerized by the story, not repulsed by the detail (which was carefully crafted to reflect truth but not with the modern sense of needing to horrify in order to make the point) and that I was grateful for having met Fr. Damien in its pages.
The book was published in 1973, so when I did get to the end, there were no details of the "rest of the story." This priest, of the Order of the Sacred Hearts, who died of leprosy at age 49 in Molokai after 12 years of unstinted service to God's most vulnerable, was declared venerable by Pope Pius VI in 1977, beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1995, and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009, and is now known as St. Damien Joseph de Veuster of Molokai, whose Feast Day is May 10.
The great mystery of this book, revealed but not explained (and I think not "explainable") is how an individual soul discerns the specific work to which God calls him or her, and then whole heartedly commits himself to that work. Seminarian Damien (of Belgium) left so promptly for Hawaii, that his ordination had to wait for his arrival there, and a bishop to ordain him. Damien never saw the members of his family again.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When this book arrived, the author's self-description in the Foreword as "a non-Catholic--indeed a non-Christian in the strict sense of the word" gave me pause. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Clare
It was PERFECT to "hide" $100 in $2 bills in it, by cutting out a rectangular shape within the pages. My 18 year old nephew LOVED it as a graduation gift! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eleanor A. Otten
Extremely interesting story, not only of the man, but of the politics of late 19th Century United States and Hawaii. Very well documented.Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
Good read. Very informative, both about the leper colony on Molokai and the infighting between the Catholics and Protestants.Published 16 months ago by drj
a great read by Daws, also by Daws, I enjoyed was "Shoal of time", a history of the Islands.Published 17 months ago by Kemo Sanchez
Incredible story. Fr Damien's statue is one of the two statues from Hawaii that sits in the US Capitol. His is a life worthy of our attention. Read morePublished 19 months ago by A May