Molokai, Leper Island?

Kalaupapa is one of the beautiful parts of Molokai, which is one of the beautiful islands of Hawaii. A picturesque setting, that was once home to a leper colony. In the 1840’s cases of leprosy started to break out in Hawaii, and the government segregated all with the disease to the Kalaupapa section of Molokai.

Father Damien was a priest serving in Hawaii when, in 1873, at the age of 33, he wrote his superiors, “I want to sacrifice myself for the poor lepers.” They eventually said yes, he moved in, and for 16 years poured his life out serving them, loving them, burying them. He learned their language, organized schools, bands and choirs, built homes for them to live in, and coffins for them to be buried in. And he always spoke to them of the love of God.

He became one of them. He became a leper, not only metaphorically through his friendship to them, but eventually literally through the fact that he had caught the disease. One day he began his sermon with the words, “We lepers…” and everyone realized that they were now truly in it together. He had chosen to live as they lived, and now he would die as they died. And Father Damien did so at the age of 55.

And when he died? He became a deceased member of the Guerrilla Lover Hall of Fame.

Want to learn how to become a guerrilla lover? Join the guerrilla revolution? Then check out my book, Guerrilla Lovers.