Monday, December 21, 2009
Apostle of the Exiled
St. Damien of Molokai: Apostle of the Exiled was first published twenty years ago under the title Father Damien: The Man and His Era. It was republished this year as Father Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict XXVI on October 11, 2009.
I received this book in mid-October planning to review it within one month but I was so bored by the first chapter that I kept putting it to the back of my 'to-be-read' book basket. The first chapter focused on Hawaiian history and how Catholics came to the islands but it dragged for me since it read more like a history text than a biography.
I am so glad I made the decision to pick up the book once again and wade through the first chapter once more in order to finally get to the story of Father Damien's life which began in the second chapter. At times the chapters seemed a little disjointed but not enough to make me put the book aside again. The book is both educational and inspirational. One chapter focused on leprosy - its history, its treatment, and more but was written in such a way that it kept my interest. I loved learning about Father Damien's life and ministry as well as the world's outlook toward Catholics in the 1800s.
In addition to the text, the book also includes a timeline, glossary of Hawaiian words, photos, and multiple appendices including letters, first hand accounts, decrees, and more. This book will be staying on my bookshelf to be read by my children later this year as we are studying 19th century world history.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on St. Damien of Molokai - Apostle of the Exiled .