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The Death of Father Damien.

Dr Bakewell sends the Auckland ‘ Herald ’ the following interesting communication, which we gladly publish as a tribute to the memory of a good man :—“ The death of Father Damien, who has given up his life to the poor lepers of the Sandwich Islands, deserves something more than a passing notice. Father Damien was one of those rare men whose virtues, in this age of materialism, selfishness, and worship of money serve to show us to what lofty heights of self-sacrifice a human being can attain when actuated by the religious spirit. Those who have never seen leprosy, and never lived in countries where it is common, can hardly form an accurate idea of the disgust and repugnance with which the disease is viewed by those who are in constant danger of being themselves infected by it. Having had charge of a leper asylum in the West Indies, and having for some years devoted myself to the study of leprosy, I may be allowed to speak with some authority on this Joint, The slightest touch from a leper is readed, and when they were allowed to go out to bog, as they were once a week in one place I visited, the alms that are given to them are thrown to them as if they were dogs, and all personal contact is shunned with horror, For a man, therefore, to go and live amongst them, daily and hourly associating with them, and ministering to them, as Father Damien did, is an act of heroic virtue. The admiration excited by his life has for once lifted men above the region of petty bigotries, and, although a Roman Catnolio priest, Father Damien found his wannest and most energetic friend in an Anglican clergyman.”

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Bibliographic details

The Death of Father Damien., Evening Star, Issue 7915, 24 May 1889

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The Death of Father Damien. Evening Star, Issue 7915, 24 May 1889