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World Briefing / Vatican City

Belgian priest to be canonized

February 22, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A 19th century Belgian priest who ministered to leprosy patients in Hawaii will be declared a saint Oct. 11 at a ceremony presided over by Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican said.

The Rev. Damien de Veuster will be canonized along with three other people, the Vatican said. In July, Benedict declared that a Honolulu woman's recovery in 1999 from terminal lung cancer was the miracle needed for the priest to be made a saint. The woman had prayed to De Veuster.

Born Joseph de Veuster in 1840, he took the name Damien and went to Hawaii in 1864.

The priest eventually contracted leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, and died in 1889.

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