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COVID-19: heroes like Saint Damien (Venezuela)

Cardinal Jorge Urosa, Archbishop Emeritus of Caracas (Venezuela) highlighted how Saint Damien, ‘Apostle to the lepers’ is an inspiration for those who are fighting against the current coronavirus pandemic.

This view was presented by the Venezuelan cardinal in an article entitled "Heroes of COVID-19 - like San Damián", which was published on April 15

This is what Cardinal Urosa had to say:

“In these times of plague and in the face of so much anguish, it is good to keep in mind the saving force of the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and also to recall some beautiful happenings taking place today.  One thinks, for example, of the testimonies given by our modern heroes of the Covid-19.  They imitate and evoke for us the example of a great saint: Father Damien of Molokai.


Damien’s testimony of dedication to the service of the lepers in Molokai embodied that teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ at the Last Supper with his disciples: "No one has greater love than he who gives his life for his friends."  (Jn, 15,13)

I remember, as a young seminarian, seeing a film about the life of Father Damien that was released in Caracas around 1960.  It’s name was “Molokai, the Cursed Island”, and the witness of that young man, who, with a thousand qualities and full of life, willingly consecrated himself to the least of society, impacted me greatly.

Testimonies of total love for one’s neighbor, similar to those given by Father Damien, are being given in our days by many priests, men and women religious, as well as lay people.

Yes!  There are many people consecrated to the service of those struck down by Covid19, that terrible scourge that is plaguing humanity at this time.  They take risks to heal and save the lives of those who need them in this terrible hour of world history. Also the doctors and nurses, and those who work in health centers are doing a magnificent job, and they deserve our recognition.

May the witness of Saint Damien and of these priests, religious and laity, heroes of Covid19, bring us closer to God, and inspire us to generously serve all our brothers.”