I call this image, "The Healer" because on a daily basis, Father Damien cleaned and changed the bandages of the lepers. He was horrified that the residents were left to their own with no personnel to give medicine and keep the gaping wounds clean and bandaged. Some patients would have large chunks of their sides or limbs or digits rotted away and full of maggots and infection. The disease of leprosy also affects the nerve endings to the areas of affliction. There is no physical pain that can be sensed in the areas of the disease.
In a letter to his parents in August 1873 (just several months after he got there), he wrote, "My greatest pleasure is to serve the Lord in his poor sick children rejected by other people." And, in another letter in 1874, he wrote, "In tears I sow the good seed among my poor lepers. From morning to night, I am amidst heartbreaking physical and moral misery. Still, I try to appear gay, so as to rise the courage of my patients."
Daily, he strove to not only heal their wounds, but their spirits.