Original work: mixed media. Giclees available only.
If one were to write a job description for all that Damien did, somewhere near or at the top of the list would be, 'advocate'. He wrote numerous letters fervently and often. He wrote to the State Board of Health. He wrote to his superiors in the Diocese. Some made enough of a difference to nudge the powers that be. I'm sure, often, he felt that his letters fell on deaf ears. He persisted, nonetheless.
In this letter to the Board of Health dated December 6, 1877, he wrote: "You are aware that for the general welfare of the lepers I have sacrificed my health and all I have in this world...Your most humble and obedient servant, J. Damien, Catholic Priest." (excerpt taken from "The Lands of Father Damien" by James H. Brocker: p. 21)