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Damien statue unveiled at school bearing saint's name

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 7:27 a.m. HST, Jan 14, 2012


A 7-foot statue of St. Damien has been unveiled at the Honolulu school named after the Belgian priest who cared for leprosy patients exiled to a remote Molokai peninsula.

The China-made statue is mounted next to the chapel at Damien Memorial School. The all-boys school will become coed next fall and is the only school in Hawaii named after Damien, who gained sainthood in 2009.

Hawaii’s patron saint is best known for caring for leprosy patients exiled to the Kalaupapa settlement in the mid-1800s when no one else would. He contracted leprosy 12 years after he arrived, and died of the disease four years later.

The school says the statue depicting the saint wearing his signature wide-brimmed hat and glasses was unveiled at a ceremony Friday. 


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