Religion: We Lepers

Charnel chaos, forgotten by the outside world, was Hawaii's leper settlement on Molokai Island when in 1873 a young Belgian named Father Damien (Joseph De Veuster) begged his bishop to send him there. Father Damien worked like a beaver to improve the place, made himself and it famous. One Sunday in 1885 he opened his sermon not with the customary "Brethren" but simply: "We lepers."

Father Damien lived on with his afflicted flock until 1889. Three years before he died he was joined by "Brother Joseph" (Ira Barnes Dutton), a Vermont-born Civil War hero...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!