Monday 10 December 2018

Father Damien's Letters - Joseph Damien De Veuster

Father Damien's Letters
Joseph Damien De Veuster
Congregation of he Sacred Hearts SS.CC.
788 p

I have been fascinated by Father Damien for many years now. When I heard about this book I searched and searched but could not find out any information about it. I went back and asked the author who had mentioned it. He told me about where it came from. I reached out to a few sources and finally was gifted a copy, I just had to cover the postage from Ireland. The book is not available commercially. But if you can lay your hands on it, it is a treasure. I typically do not keep physical books, instead donate most to school libraries. But this is one that will be going on my favorites shelf. I have read it once and am now reading it again at a much slower pace.

The note on the inside back dust jacket is:

In Jesus we find everything!
Father Coudrin, the Founder of
The Congregation liked to repeat
Those words. Surely, this was true
Also of Damien. In Jesus he found
The way to savor God along the
Journey of his life, and t hrough
Jesus he became an inspiration for
Others, Many join the
Congregation because of his
Example and many others,
Christian and those belonging to
Other religions, have been inspired
By his generous gift of self to serve
Those marginalized and ostracized.

A quote by Javier Alvarez-Ossorio, Superior General taken from the preface. Speaking of the preface the chapters in the book are:

A Synopsis of the Times of Father Damien's Ministry 
A Chronology of Father Damien's Life
     Part I. Europe (1848-1863)
     Part II. Hawai'i (March 1864- May 1873)
     Part III. Moloka'i (May 10, 1873 - 1885)
     Part IV. Kalawao (1886-1889)
     Part V. Cards and Fragments
     Part VI. Appendices 
Index of Names
Statistical Overview
Chronological List of Father Damien's Letters

The volume contains 354 letters with footnotes, beginning in December of 1848 with a letter to his parents and concluding with a letter dated April 17th, 1889 written by Father Wendelin on Damien's last days. The last letter by Damien is dated March 15th 1889. There are 8 cards or fragments of letters

The read the words of this saint, is inspiring to say the least. And to date this is the most comprehensive section to date, and maybe that we will ever see. I have a feeling that this is a book I will read again and again. My only wish is that eventually an edition will be published for the general public, and that at that time there is an eBook edition. But this limited edition is a beautiful book. And I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to encounter it, and read it. It has already been a blessing.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan

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


David B said...

Hi Steven,

How are you and family?

I followed you here from Google+ on Father Damien's Letters, read your post on the movie you saw about Father Damien and how he left an impression on you since.

I'm watching MOLOKAI: THE STORY OF FATHER DAMIEN on Youtube now.

Thanks for introducing me to this Saint. I'll follow your other links to read more about him.

Keep up the good work of book reviews and sharing the faith.

God bless.

David Bui

BJCooper said...

I would like to read this book. Have you any contact details for the publishers? Where can I get a copy? It is a very elusive volume!

BJCooper said...

Where can I purchase a copy of this book? It is a very elusive volume! Have you perchance got the contact details of the publishers? I tried to email them, but my email bounced back.

Steven R. McEvoy said...


I received a copy by contacting the order via The Congregations website I emailed ssccdublin at the url address last time I was in contact with them. All the best.