VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says a 19th century Belgian priest who ministered to leprosy patients in Hawaii will be declared a saint Oct. 11.
The Vatican confirmed the Rev. Damien de Veuster’s canonization date during a meeting Saturday between Pope Benedict XVI and cardinals.
Benedict last year approved a miracle attributed to Damien’s intercession. The pope declared that a Honolulu woman’s recovery in 1999 from terminal lung cancer was the miracle needed for the priest to be made a saint.
Damien began ministering to leprosy patients in the 1870s on the remote Kalaupapa peninsula of Molokai island, where some 8,000 people had been banished amid an epidemic. He eventually contracted leprosy and died in 1889 at age 49.
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