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The State

September 29, 1986

A Superior Court judge in Vallejo ordered that an unclaimed leather trunk containing belongings of the "leper priest of Molokai" be placed in trust with the Roman Catholic bishop of Hawaii. The trunk, stored in the Solano County coroner's office for 26 years, contains a guava-wood walking stick, a hand-carved meerschaum pipe, a kukui nut watch fob and other objects that once belonged to Father Damien de Veuster. The priest--a candidate for sainthood--was a Belgian missionary who served at the Molokai leper colony from 1873 until his own death from the disfiguring disease in 1889. The trunk ended up in Vallejo as part of the estate of a former physician at the colony.

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