St. Marianne Cope - Feast Day: January 23 (U.S.)

Born to a poor working class family, one of eight children. Came to the United States when her parents emigrated in 1840, and she grew up in the Utica, New York area. Left school after the eight …More
Born to a poor working class family, one of eight children. Came to the United States when her parents emigrated in 1840, and she grew up in the Utica, New York area. Left school after the eight grade to work in a factory for nine years and help raise her younger siblings. Joined the Sisters of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York in 1862, taking the name Sister Marianne, and making her vows in 1863. Teacher. Superior of a convent. Member of the council that governed her community. Supervisor of Saint Joseph’s Hospital in 1870; it was the only hospital in Syracuse, and cared for the sick regardless of race or religion, a rarity in the day. Directress of novices. Provincial Superior of her community in 1877. In November 1883 she and six of her sister Franciscans went to Honolulu, Hawaii to care for lepers. Mother Marianne had planned to stay a few weeks, help establish the facilities, and then return to Syracuse; she spent 35 years there and only returned when her remains were moved in 2005 as part of her beatification preparations. They completely revamped the conditions of the patients, vastly improving their housing and care. In 1885 she founded a home for the daughters of patients who lived in the colony. In November 1888 she and two sisters founded a home and school for girls on Molokai. In 1895 she took over the boy‘s home that had been founded by Blessed Damien de Veuster. In her later years she was confined to a wheelchair due to chronic kidney disease.
23 January 1838 in Heppenheim, grand duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany as Barbara Koob
9 August 1918 at Kalaupapa, Maui County, Hawaii of a heart attack
most relics are being housed and conserved at the Saint Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum in Syracuse, New York, having been transferred there in 2005 as part of the canonization investigation
there are display relics at each of the five provinces of the Sisters of Saint Francis
there are two display relics held in Rome, Italy, one given to Pope John Paul II at the time of the beatification of Saint Marianne, and one given to Pope Benedict XVI at the time of her canonization
there is a display relic in possession of the bishop of the diocese of Syracuse
there are two display relics in possession of the diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii, one of them enshrined in the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu on 31 July 2014
there is a display relic in the parish of Saint Joseph and Saint Patrick in Utica, New York, the home parish of Saint Marianne
there is a display relic in the Church of the Assumption in Syracuse where Saint Marianne took her vows, lived and worked
19 April 2004 by Pope John Paul II (decree of heroic virtues)
14 May 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI
beatification recognition celebrated by Cardinal Saraiva Martins at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, Italy
21 October 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI

Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 21 October 2012

I now turn to Marianne Cope, born in 1838 in Heppenheim, Germany. Only one year old when taken to the United States, in 1862 she entered the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis at Syracuse, New York. Later, as Superior General of her congregation, Mother Marianne willingly embraced a call to care for the lepers of Hawaii after many others had refused. She personally went, with six of her fellow sisters, to manage a hospital on Oahu, later founding Malulani Hospital on Maui and opening a home for girls whose parents were lepers. Five years after that she accepted the invitation to open a home for women and girls on the island of Molokai itself, bravely going there herself and effectively ending her contact with the outside world. There she looked after Father Damien, already famous for his heroic work among the lepers, nursed him as he died and took over his work among male lepers. At a time when little could be done for those suffering from this terrible disease, Marianne Cope showed the highest love, courage and enthusiasm. She is a shining and energetic example of the best of the tradition of Catholic nursing sisters and of the spirit of her beloved Saint Francis.
On January 23, 1838, a daughter was born to Peter and Barbara Cope of Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany. The girl was named after her mother. Two years later the Cope family emigrated to the United States and settled in Utica, New York. Young Barbara worked in a factory until August 1862, when she went to the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York. After profession in November of the next year, she began teaching at Assumption parish school.
Marianne held the post of superior in several places and was twice the novice mistress of her congregation. A natural leader, three different times she was superior of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, where she learned much that would be useful during her years in Hawaii.
Elected provincial in 1877, Mother Marianne was unanimously re-elected in 1881. Two years later the Hawaiian government was searching for someone to run the Kakaako Receiving Station for people suspected of having leprosy. More than 50 religious communities in the United States and Canada were asked. When the request was put to the Syracuse sisters, 35 of them volunteered immediately. On October 22, 1883, Mother Marianne and six other sisters left for Hawaii where they took charge of the Kakaako Receiving Station outside Honolulu; on the island of Maui they also opened a hospital and a school for girls.
In 1888, Mother Marianne and two sisters went to Molokai to open a home for “unprotected women and girls” there. The Hawaiian government was quite hesitant to send women for this difficult assignment; they need not have worried about Mother Marianne! On Molokai she took charge of the home that St. Damien de Veuster [May 10, d. 1889] had established for men and boys. Mother Marianne changed life on Molokai by introducing cleanliness, pride and fun to the colony. Bright scarves and pretty dresses for the women were part of her approach.
Awarded the Royal Order of Kapiolani by the Hawaiian government and celebrated in a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Mother Marianne continued her work faithfully. Her sisters have attracted vocations among the Hawaiian people and still work on Molokai.
In 2005 Cope was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.[1] Cope was declared a saint by the same pope on October 21, 2012.
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