Church holds special mass to commemorate Saint Damien

Hundreds gathered in downtown Honolulu to attend a special Mass of Thanksgiving.

The mass celebrated the 5th anniversary of Saint Damien’s canonization as well as the Vatican’s recent designation, naming this cathedral a minor basilica.

It’s now known as the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace.

The Vatican grants basilica designations to churches that have historical and spiritual significance.

“I’m from Molokai originally so I have a great love for Damien,” said Father Lane Akiona, pastor of St. Augustine Church. “Also, just to see so many people that reminded us of the canonization and those to continue to love the church because of that as well.”

The cathedral is one of the oldest catholic cathedrals in the country.

It’s also where Saint Damien was ordained a priest 150 years ago.

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