Born in Germany in 1838, her family emigrated to Utica, New York where her father worked in a factory. When her father died in 1862, she joined the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis. She became a teacher, principal, and hospital administrator. By 1883 she was Superior General of the congregation and answered the call to go to Hawai’i with six sisters. Her first responsibility was to manage a hospital on Oahu to process leprosy patients. Then she opened a general hospital, reformed government abuse of lepers, opened a home for homeless female children of leprosy patients, opened a home for leprous women and girls on Moloka’i, cared for St. Damien of Moloka’i, and took over his ministry when he died. She stayed in Hawai’i until her death in 1918, due to natural causes. She was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.
St. Marianne Cope rejoiced when she found she would not return to New York: “We will cheerfully accept the work….” We are also thrown into difficult circumstances at times; the current pandemic is one of them. Let us maintain our cheerfulness in ministering to our brothers and sisters. St. Marianne Cope, pray for us.
* https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Mother_Marianne_Cope_statue.jpg billsoPHOTO, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons