THE MEMORY OF ONE’S LEPROSY (Luke 17:11-19): 10 October 2010 (Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Today leprosy is considered a thing of the past. No longer the dreaded biblical scourge that it used to be, it is relatively easy to cure these days, thanks to a multi-drug therapy developed in the 1980s and declared its definitive cure. Leprosy has today become the forgotten disease.
A visit to Isla Culion a couple of weeks ago, however, helped me remember.The island, the country’s largest leper’s colony for nearly a century from 1906 to 1992, bears a history that reminds us of the stigma of the disease. In 1906, armed men rounded up thousands of victims of leprosy from all over the country to ship them to Culion for segregation and treatment.