Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Saint for America, St. Marianne Cope

Saint Marianne Cope, January 23rd

St. Marianne Cope born in Germany in 1838, arrived at the age of two in New York and in August 1862, entered the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York. Today this community of Sisters, presently called Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann communities, continue their work of teaching and nursing.  During her religious life, Mother Marianne served as novice, superior of their hospital in Syracuse and Provincial in 1877.

She is best known today for her ministry to leprosy patients in Hawaii. In 1883, the Hawaiian government sent a request to over 50 religious communities in the United States and Canada asking assistance in Kakaako, a receiving station, for people suspected of leprosy.  In those days this disease was considered incurable and very contagious.  St. Marianne was one of seven sisters who volunteered to staff this institution. In 1888 St. Marianne and two of her sisters then went to the island of Molokai where she took charge of the home that St Damien de Veuster had established for men and boys. Her ministry on Molokai lasted until her death on August 9, 1918.

For more information on this Saint for our times, visit the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.

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