Saint Marianne Cope Feast Day
In 1883, Saint Marianne Cope was the only one of 50 religious superiors to say “yes” in response to a plea from Hawaiian officials for sisters to provide care to persons with leprosy in Hawaii. Today, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities remain committed to caring for persons with leprosy at Kalaupapa, Molokai in Hawaii.
Saint Marianne Cope’s family came to Utica, New York from Germany n 1839, the year after her birth. In 1862, she entered the Sisters of the Third Franciscan Order in Syracuse, New York. During her mission time in Hawaii, she had many accomplishments including founding Maui’s first hospital as well as a home for the daughters of leprosy patients, which earned her the Royal Medal of Kapiolani. In addition, she remained true to her promise that no Franciscan sister would ever contract leprosy, arguably a miraculous promise considering their close contact with the patients over years.
Saint Marianne’s deep faith and spirit of self-sacrifice have touched and inspired hundreds of people. Although she died in 1918, her spirit lives on. On May 14, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI beatified Mother Marianne in a ceremony in Vatican City. She achieved the status of Blessed based upon a miraculous cure of a young woman’s multiple organ failure. Over 100 faithful followers from Hawaii attended the beatification ceremony. 300 followers from the Blessed Mother Marianne’s religious order in New York were also in attendance. During the ceremony, presided by Jose Cardinal Saraiva Martins, the people present sang the Hawaiian song “Makalapua,” a favorite of Mother Marianne.
On December 6, 2011, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints found that a second miracle could also be attributed to the intercession of Blessed Marianne. This finding was forwarded to Pope Benedict XVI by its Secretary, Cardinal Angelo Amato for papal approval. On December 19, 2011 Pope Benedict signed and approved the promulgation of the decree for Marianne sainthood and she was canonized on October 21, 2012