Called to Serve, Called to Shine
Saint Damien de Veuster of Moloka’i
Joseph de Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840. He arrived in Honolulu in May 1864 and was ordained two months later. He was assigned to the leper colony in a remote location on the island of Molokai, Kalaupapa. Father Damien served as a priest, physician, and companion. After living with lepers for 16 years, Father Damien contracted the disease and died. On October 9, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI raised Father Damien to the rank of Sainthood.
The DeVeuster House crest has three different icons:
One depicts the sacred hearts of Mary and Jesus, one depicts a pair of outstretched hands, and the final shows two palm leaves.
The sacred hearts reference Damien DeVeuster’s membership in the Order of the Sacred Hearts, and carry with them the symbolic meaning of undying love and care for all people.
The hands similarly represent charity, and are also an allusion to a similarly-shaped monument in Damien DeVeuster’s hometown.
Finally, the palm branches symbolize his martyrdom for his faith, and their positioning together also references the “outstretched hands of Jesus” in another symbol of selfless charity.
The DeVeuster House mascot is the lynx, considered to be a national symbol of Belgium, where St. Damien is from.