Father Damien to be a Saint

Back in February of 2007 I made a post about the book I was reading titled The Colony. The book provided the history of the Molokai leprosy colony in Hawaii and was a fascinating, troubling, and informative telling of Hawaii's infamous leper colony and the policies that lead to its creation and ultimately its closure (although several patients still live there to this day). You can read my post about the book here.

Anyway, Father Damien, a priest who went to work at the colony in the late 1800s and lived his life with the patients and took care of them, is about to be proclaimed a saint by the Catholic Church. This will no doubt increase the amount of tourism in the area, something that is very much restricted on Molokai. And for good reason, as the land is considered sacred ground. I'll be honest and admit that I have been interested in visiting Kalaupapa ever since learning of the colony during my first visit to Hawaii in 1996 and the book only piqued my interest further. That said, it is indeed a tricky situation the Hawaiians and the National Park Service find themselves in. Balancing increased tourist demands and the need to protect sacred ground while simultaneously preserving the extreme remoteness of the area.

You can learn about Father Damien, his "miracle" (required for Sainthood), and get in-a-nutshell history of Kalaupapa right here at Yahoo.

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