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The pope's remarks


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POSTED: Monday, October 12, 2009

“;Not without fear and loathing, Father Damien made the choice to go on the island of Molokai in the service of lepers who were there, abandoned by all,”; Pope Benedict XVI said during the ceremony yesterday. “;So he exposed himself to the disease of which they suffered. With them he felt at home. The servant of the Word became a suffering servant, leper with the lepers, during the last four years of his life.”;

Benedict added, “;To follow Christ, Father Damien not only left his homeland, but has also staked his health so he, as the word of Jesus announced in today's Gospel tells us, received eternal life.”;