Molokai: Father Damien’s Selfless Devotion
Molokai, a small isolated isle in Hawaii. This film dramatically presented the struggles of Father Damien who volunteered to minister to the lepers in exile.
This story took place during the late 1800s. During that time, people with leprosy are outcast of society. Father Damien knew he could acquire the disease and yet, he accepted his mission with an open heart. His dedication towards his vocation made him go further lengths when it comes to serving the people regardless of their condition.
Upon his arrival at the island, a Lutheran gentleman warned him of the situation. They’re doing everything to prevent the spread of the disease. He also meets an Englishman who once was a medical assistant before becoming a leper. The Englishman warns the priest about having the same fate as his should he stay there longer.
He finds a ruined chapel and cleans it. Later on, he planted trees on the mountainside. Father Damien helped in building a hospital for the sick. The priest showed resilience in these scenes. He makes the most out of what he can do with the available resources to help himself and the people residing in Molokai.
In another angle, he found out that the person of authority is a drunkard and a thief who operates a madhouse. At one scene, a mother requested him to fetch her teenage daughter there. He got enraged with what he saw and pulled some of the girls to send them home. A very ill man kissed him and because he didn’t flinch, everyone in the room is shocked. Father Damien even held the man in his arms and prayed for him. Since that incident, some people came to attend mass. They tested him and he remained forthright with his conviction.
The film also showcased coverups between church and government officials due to lack of interest in reaching out to the suffering people in Molokai. Father Damien’s letters appealing for provision became articles in the newspapers that dismayed the Prime Minister.
The captain of the ship refused to allow him onboard so he made his confession to the Bishop at sea. All the sick people are killed and thrown overboard. These leaders have no concern towards the lepers and prefer them dead.
The Prime Minister initiated building a hospital for lepers outside of Honolulu. So that all the government donations and nuns will not reach Molokai. He delayed granting permission to the nuns that when they came, Father Damien was already dying. The people of Molokai grieved for his death. But Father Damien fulfilled his mission and converted more souls to the Catholic faith.