Sep08

30 Days Challenge - Day 8

Author // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

St. Damien de Vuester of Molokai

30 Days Challenge - Day 8

Day 8 is a painting of St. Damien of Molokai, 12x12 oil on wood panel. This is a saint that had an impact on me at a young age. He was the patron saint of my high school, Damien High School in Lavern, Ca. We were taught by the Sacred Heart Fathers, and like all the freshmen at Damien we took a manditory class on Fr. Damien. Like Satoko Kitahara, he felt the only way to help these lepers on the inclosed island of Molokai, was to become one. The line that just hits me everytime is when he said "my fellow lepers". He was one with the suffering, desolute and dying, the ones that the world turns it's back on and sends them to a deserted island to be forgotten and to die. He was Christ to these people. Even the priests that came to hear his confession, did so from a boat.

Here are some words about his life from AmericanCatholic.org:

When Joseph de Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840, few people in Europe had any firsthand knowledge of leprosy (Hansen's disease). By the time he died at the age of 49, people all over the world knew about this disease because of him. They knew that human compassion could soften the ravages of this disease. Forced to quit school at age 13 to work on the family farm, Joseph entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary six years later, taking the name of a fourth-century physician and martyr. When his brother Pamphile, a priest in the same congregation, fell ill and was unable to go to the Hawaiian Islands as assigned, Damien quickly volunteered in his place. In May 1864, two months after arriving in his new mission, Damien was ordained a priest in Honolulu and assigned to the island of Hawaii. In 1873, he went to the Hawaiian government's leper colony on the island of Molokai, set up seven years earlier. Part of a team of four chaplains taking that assignment for three months each year, Damien soon volunteered to remain permanently, caring for the people's physical, medical and spiritual needs. In time, he became their most effective advocate to obtain promised government support. Soon the settlement had new houses and a new church, school and orphanage. Morale improved considerably. A few years later he succeeded in getting the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse, led by Mother Marianne Cope (January 23), to help staff this colony in Kalaupapa. Damien contracted Hansen's disease and died of its complications. As requested, he was buried in Kalaupapa, but in 1936 the Belgian government succeeded in having his body moved to Belgium. Part of Damien's body was returned to his beloved Hawaiian brothers and sisters after his beatification in 1995. Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009. When Hawaii became a state in 1959, it selected Damien as one of its two representatives in the Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.

Quote: During the canonization homily, Pope Benedict XVI said: "Let us remember before this noble figure that it is charity which makes unity, brings it forth and makes it desirable. Following in Saint Paul's footsteps, Saint Damien prompts us to choose the good warfare (1 Tm 1:18), not the kind that brings division but the kind that gathers people together. He invites us to open our eyes to the forms of leprosy that disfigure the humanity of our brethren and still today call for the charity of our presence as servants, beyond that of our generosity."

About the Author

Geoffrey Butz

Geoffrey Butz

Geoffrey Butz is an artist who has been painting for over 30 years. He graduated from Art Center College of Design with an focus on Illustration. He has a been a freelance Graphic Print and Web designer for 15 years.

Comments (1)

  • Antonella

    Antonella

    14 September 2015 at 14:47 |
    This is definitely one of my favorites, so far!
    I love St. Fr. Damien...!!!

    reply

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Anthony Minarcik

Anthony Minarcik

11. October, 2015 |

Geoff, Well done! Knowing your mother was a gift.

"Not even the cords of death can break the bonds of such deep rooted fellowship,...

Kathryn

Kathryn

11. October, 2015 |

Geoff, I am so very proud of you in so many ways. As proud as I am, your Mom is a million times more proud of the incredible person,...

Myke Rosenthal-English

30. September, 2015 |

Wow,that is brilliant.fantastic painting of Franz Xaver Seelos who was born in Füssen(Fuessen).Can I share this on the seelos in Füssen...

Geoffrey Butz

Geoffrey Butz

22. September, 2015 |

Thanks Ann, That means a lot. I haven't seen you and your family for a long time. We have good memories with you.

antonella

antonella

15. September, 2015 |

I AGREE with Ann!!!!

Ann Orosz

Ann Orosz

15. September, 2015 |

I'm so enjoying your artwork, Geoff! You are so talented!!

Ann (Bowen) Orosz

Antonella

Antonella

15. September, 2015 |

Geoff,
...did you know that, along with St. Therese, she was one of St. MAx's favorite saints? He speaks of her autobiography as a...

Geoffrey Butz

Geoffrey Butz

14. September, 2015 |

I am sure that St. Max is smiling, I will look for her picture.

Antonella

Antonella

14. September, 2015 |

Do you want a picture of his Mom? Or rather you should have it in the archive I gave you....

St. Max is surely smiling and supporting...

Antonella

Antonella

14. September, 2015 |

AWESOME PAINTING OF SATOKO!!!!! Hopefully soon Blessed and then Saint Satoko! One more MI Saint!

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