Page 1, 7th March 1958

7th March 1958
Page 1
Page 1, 7th March 1958 — 'Fr. DAMIAN' FILM By Alec GUINNESS

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Organisations: British Government
Locations: Honolulu


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ALEC GUINNESS, who played ' the part of Chesterton's " Fr. Brown " in the film of the hook, is now considering making a film about Fr. Damian, the missionary priest who gave his life for the lepers of Molokai Island in the South Pacific.

Alec Guinness, a convert, whose Last picture was "The Bridge on the River Kwai," is at present working on the script at his home in Hampshire. it is expected that he will produce a firm which will rank with " Monsieur Vincent" among the masterpieces of Catholic cinematography.

Fr. Damian was a Belgian, born near Louvain in 1840. He joined the Picpus Fathers and was ordained in Honolulu irk 1864.

In 1873, appalled by the pitiful conditions of the 600 lepers on Molokai Island—where the government of Hawaii sent all its lepers —he resolved to work among them and was in fact the first priest to do so.

One day in 1885 when starting a sermon he said, instead of " Mv dear brethren."—" We lepers ..." —he had contracted the disease.

But he worked on for four more years before he died. He soon became a world hero. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, delivered a moving tribute to the

hero priest, and the British Government sent a warship to Molokai with a marble cross to honour his memory.

Fr. Damian is buried in Belgium. The apostolic process of his beatification cause was opened in Malines by Archbishop Roey in 1956.

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