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May 10

The month of Mary: A Marian Month

Saint of the day:

Saint Damien de Veuster of Moloka’i

Patron Saint of lepers

Saint Damien de Veuster of Moloka’i’s Story

When Joseph de Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840, few people in Europe had any firsthand knowledge of leprosy, Hansen’s disease. By the time he died at the age of 49, people all over the world knew about this disease because of him. They knew that human compassion could soften the ravages of this disease.

Forced to quit school at age 13 to work on the family farm, Joseph entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary six years later, taking the name of a fourth-century physician and martyr. When his brother Pamphile, a priest in the same congregation, fell ill and was unable to go to the Hawaiian Islands as assigned, Damien quickly volunteered in his place. In May 1864, two months after arriving in his new mission, Damien was ordained a priest in Honolulu and assigned to the island of Hawaii.

In 1873, he went to the Hawaiian government’s leper colony on the island of Moloka’i, set up seven years earlier. Part of a team of four chaplains taking that assignment for three months each year, Damien soon volunteered to remain permanently, caring for the people’s physical, medical, and spiritual needs. In time, he became their most effective advocate to obtain promised government support.

Soon the settlement had new houses and a new church, school and orphanage. Morale improved considerably. A few years later, he succeeded in getting the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse, led by Mother Marianne Cope, to help staff this colony in Kalaupapa.

Damien contracted Hansen’s disease and died of its complications. As requested, he was buried in Kalaupapa, but in 1936 the Belgian government succeeded in having his body moved to Belgium. Part of Damien’s body was returned to his beloved Hawaiian brothers and sisters after his beatification in 1995.

When Hawaii became a state in 1959, it selected Damien as one of its two representatives in the Statuary Hall at the US Capitol. Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.






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Father Damien’s remains are housed in the crypt of Sint-Antoniuskerk in Leuven, Belgium 

Léon Schreursvest 33, 3001 Leuven, Belgium







Mochiko Chicken Recipe

Servings: 4
Total time: 30 minutes, plus 4 hours marinating



for the fried chicken:

  • 2 ¼ cups cornstarch

  • ¾ cup Mochiko flour 

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang

  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger

  • 2 tablespoons sake

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt

  • 8 pieces boneless, skin-on chicken thighs

  • canola oil, for frying

for the gochujang aioli:

  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon gochujang

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

for the su-miso:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup mirin

  • 1 tablespoon sake

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons shiro miso paste

for the kaki mochi crumble:

  • finely choppedMini Yakko Arare rice crackers2 ounces|60 grams 

  • Nori Komi furikake½ cup|40 grams 

  • 1 tablespoon fried garlic


for the ulu mac salad:

  • ½ pound macaroni

  • 3 cups mayonnaise

  • 1 pound breadfruit or russet potatoes, scrubbed clean

  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

  • 4 large hard boiled eggs, chopped

to finish:

  • cooked medium grain rice

  • green onions, thinly sliced



  1. Marinate the chicken: In a medium bowl, sift together ¼ cup cornstarch, the Mochiko flour, and sugar and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together the gochujang, ginger, sake, soy sauce, eggs, and 2 tablespoons water. Whisk into the dry ingredients. Add the chicken and cover. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

  2. Make the aioli: Whisk the mayonnaise, gochujang, and sugar together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Make the su-miso: Bring the sugar, mirin, and sake to a boil in a small saucepan over high. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and stir in the miso paste. Set aside.

  4. Make the kaki mochi crumble: Mix the rice crackers, furikake, and fried garlic in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use.

  5. Make the ulu mac salad: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente, 7 minutes. Drain, then rinse under cold water. Drain again and transfer the pasta to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until completely cold.

  6. Cover the potatoes in water and bring to a boil. Cook until just soft, 14 minutes. Drain and cool completely, then peel, discarding the skins. Dice the potatoes into small cubes, then transfer to a bowl with the pasta and the remaining ingredients. Stir and season to taste, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  7. Heat 2-inches of canola oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325°F. In a medium bowl sift together the remaining 2 cups cornstarch, the all-purpose flour, and garlic salt. Dredge the chicken thighs in the mixture and shake off any excess. Deep-fry until golden-brown, about 3 minutes.

  8. Cut the fried chicken into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle chicken with the su miso sauce, followed by the gochujang aioli. Sprinkle kaki mochi crumble over the top and garnish with green onions. Serve with rice and the ulu mac salad. Garnish with the sliced green onions.

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