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Greatest Belgian ever.

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by mioque, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. mioque

    mioque New Member

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    Father Damiaan named
    Greatest Belgian ever
    2 December 2005

    BRUSSELS — Jozef De Veuster, better known as Father Damiaan, was voted as the Greatest Belgian ever on Thursday night.

    Father Damiaan's work with the leprous in the Pacific won him hearts among Belgian voters, as he eclipsed the claims of Paul Janssen and Eddy Merckx.

    He now takes his place among the greatest Europeans ever, alongside the likes of Winston Churchill (UK), Konrad Adenauer (Germany) and Pim Fortuyn (the Netherlands), who have won similar votes in their respective countries.

    The final vote was held in conjunction with a show in the Oude Vleeshalle in Mechelen which was broadcast live by VRT channel Canvas.

    However, the vote has spanned several months, with countless television and radio programmes and newspaper reports devoted to the debate.
     
    Initially, 111 achievers were nominated to become the Greatest Belgian and 25,000 voters selected the 10 finalists, namely:

    Father Damiaan
    Ambiorix
    Andreas Vesalius
    Peter Paul Rubens
    Paul Janssen
    Eddy Merckx
    Gerardus Mercator
    Hendrik Conscience
    Father Daens
    Jacques Brel

    The final vote started on 24 November and during the final show on Thursday night, the list of 10 nominees was reduced to just three. The laureate was eventually selected from those three candidates.

    In the final phase, the last three candidates started with a clean slate and television viewers could only SMS or phone through their votes, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Friday.

    Eventual winner, Father Damiaan (1840-89) grew up in Tremelo before leaving for missionary work at the end of 1863 in Hawaii.

    He was sent in 1873 to the island of Molokaï and stayed there for the rest of his life to work with those suffering from leprosy. He eventually died in 1889 from leprosy, but had become world famous in the meantime

    Second-place getter Eddy Merckx won 525 cycling races on the road, including the Milan-San Remo (seven times), the Paris-Roubaix (3) and the Tour de France (5).

    Dr Paul Janssen established in 1953 the company Janssen Pharmaceutica, which is now one of the world's most important pharmaceutical companies. He developed 80 new medicines, of which five are on the list of vital medicines recommended by the World Health Organisation.

    http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=49&story_id=25852
     
  2. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    My money's on Ambiorix, although he didn't quite get to enjoy his glory,
     
  3. mioque

    mioque New Member

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    Damiaan is an unusual winner in that he is not a politician.
    As far as I know he's the only winner worldwide of a national contest like this that wasn't some kind of politician.
     
  4. Melanie

    Melanie Active Member

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    I recently read a very moving account of the life of this good man amongst the most wretched folk in Hawaii. He gave his life for his feared flock and I am very pleased he is so honoured by his countrymen
     
  5. Melanie

    Melanie Active Member

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    I also was even more impressed by the Brother who assisted him until his death, and I have forgotten his name (wretch that I am) but he was an American by birth and certainly deserving of the acclaim also.

    May God have mercy on their souls, for they fought the good fight and died so others may see God too.
     
  6. Matt Black

    Matt Black New Member

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    I was surpised to see King Albert I (1875-1934) not make it into the final list; he defended his country against the Germans in WWI
     
  7. robycop3

    robycop3 Active Member

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    How about Vercingetorix, a leader of the Belgae tribe, which gave the Romans fits during Julius Caesar's time?
     
  8. mioque

    mioque New Member

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    He's counted as French.
     
  9. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    Arverni, southern France, rather than Belgae.
     
  10. hillclimber

    hillclimber New Member

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    I wonder where Father Damiaan is now. Probably same place as mother Teresa.
     
  11. procyon

    procyon New Member

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    Mioque, wasn't there any missionary to the Belgian Congo? Whom you call Damiaan we call Damien; is that ok? [​IMG]

    And what about Herge? [My children have been fed on a diet of Tintin!] [​IMG]
     
  12. mioque

    mioque New Member

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    Procyon
    Damiaan is not an uncommon name in Dutch-speaking Belgium, it is very rare around here, couldn't care less how the rest of the planet decides to translate the name.

    As far as I know there used to be a huge amount of missionary activity in Belgian Congo. In those days there were so many Belgian missionaries that apparently they had enough of them left to send them to a number of other places as well.

    Hergé must have made it into the top 100 of greatest Belgians ever, but apparently not into the top 10.

    Anyway here is a short biography of Damiaan.
    http://www.ssccpicpus.com/damian/damenglish.html
     
  13. Ulsterman

    Ulsterman New Member

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    What about Plastic Bertrand?
     
  14. mioque

    mioque New Member

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    Hillclimber
    I know that it is a hallowed tradition among a certain faction of Evangelicals to predict from the comfort of their homes the final fate of famous Christians.
    But tradition or not, poor taste or not, it's a silly habit in any case because they often don't know enough about them and their surroundings to make a meaningfull judgment.
     
  15. hillclimber

    hillclimber New Member

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    Yes, silly me. I haven't a clue as to the good father, but I know a lot about Mother Teresa's good works. But I don't know of either ones relationship the my Lord.
     
  16. mioque

    mioque New Member

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    Which in the end is not that strange hillclimber. It's after all a personal relationship.
    Silly hillclimber indeed.
    What we can see in this case is a person's good works, which can both be an attempt to buy one's way into Heaven, or an outgrowth of leading a sanctified life after being born again.

    Damiaan was either mounting a massive campaign to get 'Upstairs', or he was doing the leading the fruitfull life of a Saved person thing, much better than anybody on this messageboard.
    It's probably bad form to suggest the former if it is distinctly possible a person was doing the latter.
     
  17. The Galatian

    The Galatian New Member

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    If Jesus was correctly quoted in Matthew 25, he is.
     
  18. procyon

    procyon New Member

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    Father Damien may be the greatest Belgian ever. But today's newspaper reports that Herge is the most popular. Am I right?

    P.S. Are you a Catholic?
     
  19. mioque

    mioque New Member

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    Galatian?
    Absolutely.
    Mioque?
    Absolutely not.
     
  20. hillclimber

    hillclimber New Member

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    How on earth did you arrive at that conclusion????
     
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