For Love of the Lepers and the Lord

If you had the chance to go to Hawaii, would you take it?

There - I bet you're imagining sandy beaches, brilliant blue ocean, palm trees ...

How about a leper colony?

One of the greatest examples of a soul answering the call to console the Heart of Jesus is that of St. Damien de Veuster, the leper-priest of Molokai. He went where few others desired to go: to the leper colony in Hawaii. He tended to the lepers there for years without a thought for his own safety until finally he fell ill with leprosy himself and eventually died of it.

We celebrate the feast of this heroic saint on May 5. Not all of us are called to that level of heroic self-sacrifice, but all of us are called to have that same generosity with God and our neighbor. Our generosity doesn't have to coincide with great physical danger. We must have the same generosity in forgiving our enemies, in loving those placed in our care, in seeking the hidden treasure in those around us through exercising the merciful outlook. We must be generous in prayer and good works, in words and deeds of mercy.

As Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, in 'You Did It to Me' emphasizes and reemphasizes, Jesus is clear: We shall be judged on the last day on whether or not we performed the works of mercy.

By treating the least of the brethren as best he could, Fr. Damien showed the face of Christ to those lost in a living hell, brought aid and other saints like Mother Marianne Cope to the island, and was a true light to the nations. Saint Damien of Molokai loved the lepers, the least of the society, and gave everything in their care. He has won his imperishable crown by cooperating with the grace of God to live a life and die a death of love.

If you consecrated to Jesus through Mary or completed the Consoling the Heart of Jesus retreat, we'd love to hear your story. Please take a moment and share your journey below. If you have pictures, we'd love to see them, too. Just email them to HAPP@Marian.org!

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