Fr Damien de Veuster – or, as he is now known, St Damien of Molokai – is one of the better-known examples of practical Christianity. His heroic life amongst the lepers of Molokai, and his eventual death amongst them, from leprosy, hardly, or so one would think, admits of criticism from even the professionally unreligious. Yet, for some reason, a Presbyterian minister decided to dismiss his work as useless and attack his moral character. Robert Louis Stevenson had visited Hawaii and was fascinated by Damien’s life and work. His open letter answers these allegations in forcible terms.
GK Chesterton’s text Where All Roads Lead is a fine example of his characteristic paradoxical style, which tends to make some of his readers into devotees but bring out others in the literary equivalent of a rash. His arguments draw heavily from those of his friend Hilaire Belloc, but cast them into a form at once more epigrammatic and more diffuse.