About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Touching a leper

Statue at the St. Joseph Church on Moloka'i
In the time of rampant Anti-Catholicism among British as well as American Protestants a faithful son of the Scottish Reformation defended publicly a Roman Catholic priest against the slander by the Congregationalist clergyman.
            It happened in 1890. The defender was the author Robert Louise Stevenson. The Roman Catholic Priest was father Damien of Molokai who recently died and the slanderer was Rev. Charles McEwen Hyde, an elite clergy among Congregationalists who was educated at Union as well as Princeton Seminaries.
            In the center was Father Damien’s selfless work in the leper colony on the island of Moloka‘i. When father Damien came to Moloka‘i the afflicted people were more or less dumped in the secluded Kalaupapa peninsula and left there to die. Damien was deeply moved by the plight of those in the quarantine. He gave himself to them, lifted their spirit, organized the community and made sure that the outside word would not forget about people quarantined there.  While caring for those most vulnerable and shunned by the rest of society he himself was infected with the Hansen’s Disease and eventually died of it.
            Damien was accused by Protestants for being self-appointed, headstrong, reckless and dirty (not hygienic enough) friend of the lepers. R.L. Stevenson defended Damien’s intention, his good heart, his selflessness, his faithfulness to God while his squeamish accuser would not set even a foot in the colony. Writing to Damien’s accuser Stevenson also predicted “if (in future the) world at all remember you, on the day when Father Damien of Molokai shall be named Saint, it will be in virtue of one work: your (slanderous) letter.” That is exactly what happened in 2009 when Father Damien was canonized. 
            This Sunday we will see that Damien had a direct and heavenly model in his endeavor of returning dignity to the sick. This Sunday we will rejoice in Jesus who broke quarantine rules and yet also kept them. But he above all transformed and humanized quarantine rules. Join us in worship of Jesus in quarantine.

And here is the open letter by Robert Louise Stevenson.
St.Joseph church built by Father Damien in Moloka'i his statue is standing next to it.

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