Panel investigates possible miracle attributed to Hawaiis Father Damien

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2003

HONOLULU (AP) Doctors and priests have opened a Roman Catholic tribunal in Honolulu to investigate a possible miracle attributed to Father Damien, the missionary to the lepers, who is a candidate for sainthood.

The panel is reviewing the case of an Oahu woman with lung cancer who made a 1998 pilgrimage to pray for healing at the grave of Father Damien de Veuster. Within five months the malignant mass had disappeared and the cancer has not returned.

Damien would be proclaimed a saint if the tribunal finds the claim legitimate and the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the pope approve.

Damien, who died of leprosy at Kalaupapa in 1879, was beatified in 1995, the final step before sainthood.

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