HONOLULU — Hawaii marked the canonization of Saint Damien with a Mass and an interfaith celebration that underscored the 19th century priest’s enduring popularity in the islands.
More than 1,200 people on Sunday attended the Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, the same church where Damien was ordained in 1864.
The church seats about 500, so the overflow crowd watched on television monitors outside.
Church youth then carried Damien’s heel bone to Iolani Palace, where leaders from the Episcopal, Mormon and United Church of Christ denominations participated in the interfaith celebration.
The Vatican made Damien a saint last month. He’s revered for selflessly caring for Hawaii’s leprosy patients in the 19th century.