|Blessed Marianne Cope|
missionary to leprosy patients
|Born||January 23, 1838Heppenheim, Grand Duchy of Hesse,|
|Died||August 9, 1918 (aged 80), Kalaupapa, Hawaii, United States|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||May 14, 2005, Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI|
|Major shrine|| Shrine & Museum of Blessed Marianne Cope
Sisters of Saint Francis Motherhouse
|Patronage||people with leprosy, outcasts, those with HIV/AIDS, the State of Hawaii.|
Mother Marianne Cope (January 23, 1838 – August 9, 1918), was a Franciscan nun of the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis, a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. Born in Heppenheim (Germany) and entered religious life in Syracuse, New York, she worked, lived and died for the lepers on the island of Molokaʻi in Hawaiʻi. She was not herself afflicted by the disease, a fact arguably declared to be miraculous considering her close contact with the patients over the course of several years, earning her the title, Blessed Marianne of Molokaʻi.
Mother Marianne was the first person beatified by Pope Benedict XVI and raised to the title of Blessed, awaiting canonization into sainthood. Her feast day is January 23 celebrated each year by her followers, especially her religious order, the Diocese of Honolulu, and the Diocese of Syracuse.
Mother Marianne was born in Heppenheim in the Grand Duchy of Hesse (Germany) and christened Maria Anna Barbara Koob. At the age of three her family moved to the United States, settling in the town of Utica, New York. As a young adult she was a factory worker in Utica. At the age of twenty-four she felt free enough of family responsibility to be able to follow her religious vocation, and she chose the name Marianne, as a Sister of the Order of St. Francis.
She spent nearly a decade as a teacher and then principal in newly established schools for German immigrants. She was also a founding member of two of the first Catholic hospitals in the United States, both of which were initiated by her religious community in the 1860’s. She herself directed one of the hospitals, St. Joseph’s, the first from Convent of St. Anthony in Syracuse, New York from 1870-1877. These experiences helped her to prepare for a special ministry in New York.
In November 1883, Mother Marianne, then Provincial Mother, traveled from Syracuse to Honolulu with six other nuns to answer a call for aid to the Hansen's disease sufferers by King David Kalākaua. She responded to the letter asking for her help, enthusiastically:
“I am hungry for the work and I wish with all my heart to be one of the chosen Ones, whose privilege it will be, to sacrifice themselves for the salvation of the souls of the poor Islanders... I am not afraid of any disease, hence it would be my greatest delight even to minister to the abandoned ‘lepers.’”
With Mother Marianne as supervisor, their task was to manage Kaka`ako Branch Hospital on O`ahu, which served as a receiving station for Hansen’s disease patients gathered from all over the islands. Here the more severe cases were processed and shipped to the island of Moloka`i for confinement at the settlement at Kalawao, and then later at Kalaupapa.
In 1924, Saint Francis Convent in Honolulu was founded in her memory to train nurses to work with Hansen's disease patients. It is now Saint Francis School, which is a school for girls in grades 6-9.
On May 14, 2005, after a young woman claimed she was miraculously cured of multiple organ failure after prayers were said to Mother Marianne asking for her intercession, Mother Marianne was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in a ceremony in Vatican City. She is awaiting further affirmation.
Over one hundred faithful followers from Hawaiʻi attended the beatification ceremony. Three hundred followers from the Blessed Mother's religious order in Syracuse were also in attendance. During the ceremony presided by Jose Cardinal Saraiva Martins, the Hawaiian song Makalapua was sung. The song was a favorite of Mother Marianne Cope.
- Roman Catholicism in the United States#American Catholic Servants of God, Venerables, Beatified, and Saints
- Official Vatican biography
- Patron Saints Index: Blessed Marianne Cope
- The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "The Beatification of Mother Marianne Cope," May 15, 2005
- The Utica Observer-Dispatch, "Mother Marianne worked years in Utica mills before joining convent," May 11, 2005
|Stages of Canonization in the Roman Catholic Church|
|Servant of God → Venerable → Blessed → Saint|