Born Joseph de Veuster in Tremeloo, Belgium, he took the name Damien upon joining the Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary. He was sent to the Hawaiian missions in 1864, working first on the island of Hawaii and then on Molokai, which was home to a leper colony. Damien died of the disease after fifteen years of spiritual and physical service to the people of Molokai. In 2005, he was voted the "greatest Belgian of all time" by the people of that nation. He was canonized October 11, 2009.
Photo: Our Lady of Sorrow Church, Molokai. Constructed by Bl. Damien, 1874. Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration (unrestricted)