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Pope to bless sculpture of St. Damien



The pope will bless a Maui artist’s sculpture of St. Damien.

Dale Zarrella is headed to Vatican City with high-ranking clergy from the Diocese of Honolulu for Wednesday’s blessing by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Maui News reported that a 3-foot-tall, 90-pound bronze replica of a young Damien will become part of the Vatican collection. Zarrella says a second statute will be installed and blessed at a Vatican City seminary school.

Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva’s visit to Rome will include a report to the pope on the state of the diocese.

Joseph de Veuster, a Belgian priest who became known as Father Damien, is known for caring for Hansen’s disease patients forced to live the Kalaupapa Peninsula on Molokai in the late 1800s. He became a saint in 2009.


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