Pope canonises Father Damiaan

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Pope Benedict XVI has canonised Belgium's Father Damiaan, and four other individuals, at a mass in St Peter's in Vatican City.

Rome - Pope Benedict XVI has canonised Belgium's Father Damiaan, and four other individuals, at a mass in St Peter's in Vatican City. A large number of Belgian dignitaries attended the mass. Among them were Belgium's King Albert and Queen Paola.

Father Damiaan, who lived in the 19th century, was noted for his work with lepers in Hawaii. He died of the same disease in 1889.

With his canonisation, he becomes the patron saint of lepers and AIDS sufferers.

Radio Netherlands/Expatica

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