Hubert van Lieshout was born on November 3, 1890 in Holland. He was the 8th of 11 children. His family was a very Catholic family and he had a strong religious upbringing. After reading the biography of Fr. Damien he decided to join the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He made his temporary vows in 1915, with the name “Eustaquio”.
He was ordained a priest in 1919. In 1925, he realized his dream of becoming a missionary when he was sent to Brazil. He worked as a missionary there for eighteen years. He died in Belo Horizonte on August 30, 1943 at 53 years of age. He was beatified on June 15, 2006.
The most salient trait of Father Eustaquio from the beginning of his priestly life, probably from infancy, was the ideal that he had to be another Father Damien – charity with kindness, also zealous, full of compassion toward everyone, but principally toward the poor and sick. (Thomaz Keller, O.S.B., 1944)
Eustaquio said, “To win souls, to alleviate pain and suffering is my great ideal.” He was a religious man touched deep in his heart by the misery of the people. These people needed something that would help them. He was drawn to do whatever he could, and went out to many, offering real help to them.
He wrote, “This is the holy vocation that I feel in myself, to relieve the corporal sufferings in order to arouse the faith of our times.” Eustaquio’s greeting was always “Health and peace”.
It summed up his vocation and his way of serving people in the name of the faith.