NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local diocese, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu.

~ Peter, Ministry Administrator

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hawaii's Devotion to St. Damien de Veuster & Bl. Marianne Cope of Molokai

The statue of St. Damien that stands before
the Hawaii State Capital Building.

It not a surprise that Hawaii's Catholics have a lot of affection for St. Damien & Bl. Marianne of Molokai... and although their remains were returned to their respective Congregations after their deaths, they were never forgotten.  In recent years, at the initiative of our current bishop - Bishop Larry Silva - our diocese was very happy to welcome both of these holy persons back to Hawaii through the physical presence of their Holy Relics.

The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu is privileged to guard the simple wooden shrines of both St. Damien de Veuster and Bl. Marianne Cope of Molokai, both enclosing 1st Class Relics from each holy individual. The relic of St. Damien - a talus (foot) bone - was brought to Hawaii in October 2009, after the Saint's Canonization... and Bl. Marianne's relic, also a fragment of bone, was recently received in May 2011.

The Shrines of Bl. Marianne Cope (left) & St. Damien de Veuster (right),
located in the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu.

Both shrines are situated to the left of the main altar and are constructed from koa wood; a costly wood, which is highly valued in Hawaii for its rich, beautiful grain pattern and its strength. On each side of the shrines are kahilis, ancient symbols of royalty and honor in the Hawaiian culture, which are akin to our western use of banners and flags. Familiar portraits of the Saint and the Blessed top both shrines.

St. Damien's wooden reliquary-case with his bone relic.

The relics are lovingly surrounded by colorful leis (Hawaiian floral garlands) within their respective display shrines and may easily be viewed up close. If you're ever in Honolulu, please stop by our Cathedral to say 'hello' to our saintly heroes and to venerate their blessed remains.

Bl. Marianne's wooden reliquary-case with her bone relic.

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