Wednesday 18 July 2018

The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers - Edited by Pamphile De Veuster

The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers
Joseph Damien De Veuster
Auguste Pamphile De Veuster (Editor)  
Paul E. Nowak (Introduction) 
Robert Louis Stevenson (Afterword)
Eternal Revolution (eBook Edition 2013)
Catholic Truth Society (First edition 1889)

This book was first published in 1889, by the Catholic Truth Society. That edition appears to be long out of print. But if you search you can find multiple used copies some even at reasonable prices. This reprint eBook edition appears to be out of print now as well, it can be found on Amazon but no longer purchased, and even the editor does not have it listed on his website. But if you can track it down it is an excellent read. The chapters in the book are:

Introduction to the Digital Edition
Introduction by Father Pamphile
Chapter 1: Early Life and Entrance Into Religion
Chapter 2: Mission to the Sandwich Islands
Chapter 3: Work in Hawaii
Chapter 4: Molokai: The Leper Colony
Chapter 5: His Last Years and Death
Afterword by Robert Louis Stevenson

But it should be noted the 1889 edition does not contain the afterward, but that letter is in the public domain, and or you can get it in a different volume from the Catholic Truth Society. The preface begins with these words:

"The issue of the following volume would have been impossible without the kind assistance and encouragement of Father Damien's brother, Father Pamphile. It is he who has furnished us with the interesting letters it contains. It is he who has supplied the notes which form the substance of it. It is he who has written the Introduction, which is literally translated in the following pages."

Over the years I have read numerous books about Father Damien and watched films about his life. This volume is the most complete collection of his own words that is available in the English language. As such it is a fascinating read, especially for anyone with a devotion or affinity for Father Damien. It is wonderful to read him, in his own words, to hear his voice after a fashion. As compared to the stories about him, no matter how good those books are The eBook edition also contains an afterwards 'An Open Letter from Robert Louis Stevenson to Reverend Charles McEwan Hyde'. But as that is in the public domain numerous copies are available.

After all the books I have read about Father Damien in was truly a blessings to be able to read his personal letters. This is an excellent little volume, weather you track down the original or the reprint.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here. And if you need it this one can be found online here.

Reviews of Books and Movies about Saint Damien:
Apostle of the Exiled St. Damien of Molokai - Margaret Bunson & Matthew Bunson
Pilgrimage and Exile: Mother Marianne of Molokai by: Sister Mary Laurence Hanley, O.S.F.
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien by: Paul Cox
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien
Saint Damien of Molokai - Virginia Helen Richards and D. Thomas Halpin
Father Damien de Veuster Apostle to the Lepers - Glynn MacNiven-Johnston
The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers - Edited by Pamphile De Veuster 

Father Damien's Letters

Prayer of the Day - Saint Damien Prayer

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