|Credit: Darlene Dela Cruz | CNS|
HONOLULU — First, a couple of schools. Then, several U.S. parishes. Now ... a fine craft beer?
Many things have been named after St. Damien de Veuster of Molokai, but none was more surprising than a recent discovery at a Whole Foods store in Hawaii -- a bottle of Belgian ale labeled with the likeness of St. Damien.
The beer is called "Damiaan Donker." The name pairs the Dutch words for "Damien" and "dark, strong ale."
Father Damien spent his entire priesthood ministering to the victims of leprosy at the settlement on the island of Molokaʻi, Hawaii. What was meant to be a temporary assignment, turned into a permanent calling. Fr. Damien would eventually lose his life to the once thought to be incurable disease. He died on April 15, 1889, aged 49. This man who gave all for others was declared a Saint by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.
While many beers have been named in honor of Saints, Damiaan Donker is certainly honors the most contemporary. The beer is brewed by Brouwerij Kerkom, Belgium. With the Saint's Feast Day approaching on May 10, it is one I will have to seek out.
See "Dark, strong, fruity, Belgian" for more on the Saint and the beer.