Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time & St. Marianne Cope, January 23,2018

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time & St. Marianne Cope, January 23,2018

Marianne Cope was one of ten children in a German immigrant family that settled in upstate New York. She joined the Sisters of Saint Francis in Syracuse. At the age of forty-six she went to Hawaii, where leprosy was ravaging the native islanders. Marianne sought not only to relieve their physical sufferings, but also to surround them with touches of beauty. “My heart bled for the children,” she said, “and I was anxious and hungry to help put a little more sunshine into their dreary lives.” After visiting the leper colony, man of letters Robert Louis Stevenson lauded her in verse. Marianne died in 1918 after serving the lepers for over thirty years.


Opening Prayer

“Heavenly Father, you are the source of all true friendship and love. In all my relationships, may your love be my constant guide for choosing what is good and for rejecting what is contrary to your will.” In Jesus’ Mighty Name, I pray. Amen.

Reading 1
2 Sm 6:12B-15, 17-19

David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom
into the City of David amid festivities.
As soon as the bearers of the ark of the LORD had advanced six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling.
Then David, girt with a linen apron,
came dancing before the LORD with abandon,
as he and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn.
The ark of the LORD was brought in and set in its place
within the tent David had pitched for it.
Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. When he finished making these offerings,
he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
He then distributed among all the people,
to each man and each woman in the entire multitude of Israel,
a loaf of bread, a cut of roast meat, and a raisin cake.
With this, all the people left for their homes.
The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 24:7,8,9, 10

R. (8) Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!

Mk 3:31-35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
“Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you.”
But he said to them in reply,
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1 – My mother and brothers

In today’s gospel reading, Jesus emphasized the importance of our ties with God. He made it clear that God and His interests should be at the top of the list of every believer. But foremost of all, Jesus brought to our hearts the importance of doing God’s will in every life circumstance.

Jesus revealed to us that one who professes to be His follower should be able to give his very own self, his interests and all he has for His service and the glory of the Father. One should be able to totally commit himself to a life with Him even if it requires giving up one’s life, one’s comfort zones, dreams and everything that comprise one’s total being.

Jesus was very clear that nothing, not even family relations, should be allowed to deflect a believer’s total obedience to God. As such a believer and follower of Christ should live Christ-centered lives instead of self-centered lives. Everything else then should be subordinated to the great task of glorifying Christ and making Him known to the ends of the earth.

Jesus was clear and absolute about our relationship with Him if we should choose to be His disciple.  He said that if we cannot love Him above all, then we do not deserve to be His disciple. The question that surfaced in my heart is: Have I met the standard set by Jesus?  In the context of our gospel reading… am I brother to Jesus?

Jesus said:  Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:35

Let us also remember Luke 14: 25-27: “Great crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and addressed them, “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”

Jesus loves every man without bounds and limits. Is our love for Him quite close to His love for us? Do we have a heart that is willing to breathe life and accept death for Christ alone?


Let us examine our hearts in prayer and re-commit our lives to Jesus.


Heavenly Father, to You Whom I give glory and praise, I always endeavor to live my life in the Name of Christ. In Him, I live, hope and pray. Amen.

Reflection 2 – Obedience requires listening

Blind obedience to human authority can be a dangerous thing. Obedience is good, it is virtuous, but blind obedience can lead to injustice and unspeakable harm. Blind obedience to authorities led to the Holocaust in Nazi Germany in World War II and to the slaughter of unarmed civilians in Tiananmen Square in China in 1989. “I was only carrying out orders” is no excuse for murder. First one must listen and assess; only then may one obey.

On the other hand, perfect obedience to God is virtuous. Doing God’s will is the proper response to God’s involvement in our world and to the invitation to be counted among God’s people. Our ancestors’ reaction to the Sinai covenant was clear: “Everything the Lord has said, we will do” (Ex 19:8). In the new covenant Mary set the standard, “Let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).

Christian mystic Meister Eckhart concluded centuries ago, “True and perfect obedience is a virtue above all virtues… there should be no ‘I want this or that’… but rather, ‘Lord, give me only what you will and the way in which you will it.’”

“Obey” comes from the Latin “to hear.” The first step in being obedient to God is listening to his voice – whether spoken in the readings of the Bible, the teachings of the Church, or in the inspirations that come from the liturgy and private prayer. First listen, then obey.

Jesus made it clear in today’s Gospel that doing the will of God is the criterion of discipleship. Bloodline is of no importance to Jesus; rather those who do God’s will are mother and brother and sister to him. Timothy and Titus, two of Paul’s associates, are honored as disciples today; they listened to God’s word and put it into practice. Like them, we are called to first listen, then obey. (Source: Norman Langenbrunner. Weekday Homily Helps. Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, January 26, 2010).

Reflection 3 – Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister

Who do you love and cherish the most? God did not intend for us to be alone, but to be with others. He gives us many opportunities for developing relationships with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Why did Jesus, on this occasion, seem to ignore his own relatives when they pressed to see him? His love and respect for his mother and his relatives was unquestionable. Jesus never lost an opportunity to teach his disciples a spiritual lesson and truth about the kingdom of God. On this occasion when many gathered to hear Jesus he pointed to another higher reality of relationships, namely our relationship with God and with those who belong to God.

What kind of relationship does God want with us?
What is the essence of being a Christian? It is certainly more than doctrine, precepts, and commandments. It is first and foremost a relationship – a relationship of trust, affection, commitment, loyalty, faithfulness, kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, mercy, helpfulness, encouragement, support, strength, protection, and so many other qualities that bind people together in mutual love and unity. God offers us the greatest of relationships – union of heart, mind, and spirit with himself, the very author and source of love (1 John 4:8,16).

What is the true nature of God’s love?
God’s love never fails, never forgets, never compromises, never lies, never lets us down nor disappoints us. His love is consistent, unwavering, unconditional, and unstoppable. We may choose to separate ourselves from him, but nothing will make him ignore us, leave us, or treat us unkindly. He will pursue us, love us, and call us to return to him no matter what might stand in the way. It is his nature to love. That is why he created us – to be united with him and to share in his love and unity of persons (1 John 3:1). God is a trinity of persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and a community of love. That is why Jesus challenged his followers and even his own earthly relatives to recognize that God is the true source of all relationships. God wants all of our relationships to be rooted in his love.

The Lord Jesus offers each one of us a personal relationship with himself
Jesus is God’s love incarnate – God’s love made visible in human flesh (1 John 4:9-10). That is why Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep and the shepherd who seeks out the sheep who have strayed and lost their way. God is like the father who yearns for his prodigal son to return home and then throws a great party for his son when he has a change of heart and comes back (Luke 15:11-32). Jesus offered up his life on the cross for our sake, so that we could be forgiven and restored to unity and friendship with God. It is through Jesus that we become the adopted children of God – his own sons and daughters. That is why Jesus told his disciples that they would have many new friends and family relationships in his kingdom. Whoever does the will of God is a friend of God and a member of his family – his sons and daughters who have been ransomed by the precious blood of Christ.

The Lord wants to transform all of our relationships so we can love as he loves
An early Christian martyr once said that “a Christian’s only relatives are the saints” – namely those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and adopted as sons and daughters of God. Those who have been baptized into Jesus Christ and who live as his disciples enter into a new family, a family of “saints” here on earth and in heaven. Jesus changes the order of relationships and shows that true kinship is not just a matter of flesh and blood. Our adoption as sons and daughters of God transforms all of our relationships and requires a new order of loyalty to God first and to his kingdom of righteousness and peace. Do you want to grow in love and friendship? Allow God’s Holy Spirit to transform your heart, mind, and will to enable you to love freely and generously as he loves.

“Heavenly Father, you are the source of all true friendship and love. In all my relationships, may your love be my constant guide for choosing what is good and for rejecting what is contrary to your will.” – Read the source:

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Reflection 4 – God’s family

When I was growing up, I often heard my pastor read the Ten Commandments and our Lord’s command to love God with our whole being and our neighbor as ourselves. I knew I didn’t fully live up to those demands, but I took them seriously.

As an 8 year-old, I felt sadness when a 6-year old neighbor boy in a non-Christian family died. But I also felt guilt because I was not as sad as I would have been if this had happened to one of my brothers. And still today, even though my brothers and I all have our own families who come first in our lives, we still take a keen interest in one another.

God is pleased when we cherish these family ties, but He also wants us to love all who have entered our spiritual family by being born again. This the family Jesus referred to when He responded to a message that His mother and brothers desired to speak with Him. He looked the audience before Him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and mother” (Mk 3:34-35).

Loving the lost is our duty, but loving those born into God’s family, no matter what their faults, should come naturally. It is, after all, a family thing.

Love is an attitude, love is a prayer,

For a soul in sorrow, a heart in despair;

Love is good will for the gain of another,

Love suffers long with the fault of a brother.

We show our love for God when we love His family (Source: Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries).

Reflection 5 – Doing the will of God

“In short, for God’s glory yield to his will completely, and never suppose that you could be serving him better in any other way; the best way to serve him is to fall in with his will for us.

“He wants you to serve him without joy, without feeling, with repugnance and revulsion of spirit. Such service gives you no satisfaction, but it pleases him; it is not according to your liking, but according to his.

“Imagine that you are never going to be delivered of your anguish: what would you do? You would say to God: I am yours; if my miseries are agreeable to you, give me more and let them last longer. I have confidence in our Lord that this is what you would say; then you would stop thinking about the matter, at least you would stop struggling.

“Well, do this now, and make friends with your trial, as though the two of you were always to live together. You will see that when you have stopped taking thought for your deliverance, God will think of it, and when you stop worrying, God will come swiftly to your help” (Source: St. Francis de Sales, +1622, Magnificat, Vol. 18, No. 11, January 2017, p. 339).

Reflection 6 – Jesus as your brother

All too often as adults we have better relationships with friends than we do with our brothers and sisters and parents. Family relationships are supposed to last a lifetime. God’s plan for marriage and family — as modeled by the Holy Family, revealed throughout the Bible, and explained by the Catholic Church — empowers us to be a community of faithful love, even during disagreements and even despite knowing each other’s short-comings so well.

But what happens when a family member doesn’t want to belong to God’s family? That’s when relationships become most difficult. Jesus said that following him means leaving mother and father and sister and brother (see Matt. 10:34-36) when they aren’t following him with us. But oh how grievous it is to leave behind members of our families!

This is why God gives us brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers in Christian community, i.e., people who are not blood relatives but are related to us by the Blood of Christ. This is the kind of family that Jesus talks about in today’s Gospel reading. God is our Divine Father, and doing his will unites us to him. All those who do his will are united to him. Therefore, when we do the Father’s will we are bonded to everyone else in his family.

At the top of the list of Blood relatives is our brother Jesus. So, what is it like to have God for a brother?

Recall the best time you ever had with an earthly relative. Remember the camaraderie, the companionship. Remember the secrets you shared. Remember how you could relax in that relationship, assured that nothing would ever shatter the bond you felt. Remember playing together, laughing together, crying together, complaining about whatever was unfair, and remember the sympathy you received along with some advice that lifted you out of your bad mood.

Do you give Jesus daily opportunities to be a brother like that?

Do you spend enough time alone with your Brother to tighten your relationship with him? Do you allow him to be your closest companion? Do you share your deepest secrets with him? When was the last time you were playful with him? Do you cry on his shoulder and complain to him instead of sinning by taking your complaints to everyone else who will listen? Do you sit quietly in your prayer chair long enough to feel his sympathy? Do you pay attention to his advice (which is readily available in scripture and other avenues of revelation)? And do you tell him about whatever strikes you as funny or silly so that you laugh together?

This is the real Jesus! He likes being your Brother. Go have fun with him today. – Read the source:

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Reflection 7 – St. Marianne Cope (1838-1918 A.D.)

Though leprosy scared off most people in 19th-century Hawaii, that disease sparked great generosity in the woman who came to be known as Mother Marianne of Molokai. Her courage helped tremendously to improve the lives of its victims in Hawaii, a territory annexed to the United States during her lifetime (1898).

Mother Marianne’s generosity and courage were celebrated at her May 14, 2005, beatification in Rome. She was a woman who spoke “the language of truth and love” to the world, said Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. Cardinal Martins, who presided at the beatification Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, called her life “a wonderful work of divine grace.” Speaking of her special love for persons suffering from leprosy, he said, “She saw in them the suffering face of Jesus. Like the Good Samaritan, she became their mother.”

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.

Mother Marianne died on August 9, 1918 and was beatified in 2005 and canonized seven years later.


The government authorities were reluctant to allow Mother Marianne to be a mother on Molokai. Thirty years of dedication proved their fears unfounded. God grants gifts regardless of human short-sightedness and allows those gifts to flower for the sake of the kingdom.


Soon after Mother Marianne died, Mrs. John F. Bowler wrote in the Honolulu Advertiser, “Seldom has the opportunity come to a woman to devote every hour of 30 years to the mothering of people isolated by law from the rest of the world. She risked her own life in all that time, faced everything with unflinching courage and smiled sweetly through it all.”

Related St. Anthony Messenger article(s) 

Mother Marianne Cope: A Blessed Among Lepers, by Lisa Benoit

Marianne Cope: America’s Other New Saint, by James Breig

Read the source:

Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Mother Marianne Cope in her youth.jpg

Marianne Cope shortly before her departure for Hawaii (1883)
BORN Maria Anna Barbara Koob
January 23, 1838
HeppenheimGrand Duchy of Hesse
DIED August 9, 1918 (aged 80)
VENERATED IN Roman Catholic Church
(Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities)
Episcopal Church
BEATIFIED May 14, 2005, Saint Peter’s BasilicaVatican City by Pope Benedict XVI
CANONIZED October 21, 2012, Vatican Cityby Pope Benedict XVI
MAJOR SHRINE Saint Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum
601 N. Townsend St.
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
FEAST January 23 (Roman Catholic Church)
April 15 (Episcopal Church (United States))
PATRONAGE Lepers, outcasts, those withHIV/AIDSHawaiʻi.

Marianne Cope, O.S.F., also known as Saint Marianne of Molokaʻi, (January 23, 1838 – August 9, 1918) was a German-born American nun who was a member of the Sisters of St Francis of Syracuse, New York and administrator of its St. Joseph’s Hospital in the city. Known also for her charitable works, in 1883 she relocated with six other Sisters to Hawaiʻi to care for persons suffering Hansen’s Disease on the island of Molokaʻi and aid in developing the medical infrastructure in Hawaiʻi. Despite direct contact with the patients over many years, Cope did not contract the disease.

In 2005 Cope was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.[1] Cope was declared a saint by the same pope on October 21, 2012, along with Kateri Tekawitha, a 17th-century Native American.[2] Cope is the 11th person in what is now the United States to be canonized by the Catholic Church.[2]


Birth and vocation[edit]

Cope was baptized Maria Anna Barbara Koob, later anglicizing her last name to “Cope”. She was born January 23, 1838, in Heppenheimin the Grand Duchy of Hesse to Peter Koob (1787–1862) and Barbara Witzenbacher (1803–1872). The following year her family emigrated to the United States, settling in the industrial city of Utica, New York. They became members of the Parish of St Joseph, where Cope attended parish school. By the time she was in eighth grade, her father had become an invalid. As the oldest child, Cope left school to work in a textile factory to help support her family.[3] Her father became naturalized as an American citizen, which at the time meant the entire family received automatic citizenship status.[citation needed]

By the time their father Peter Cope died in 1862, the younger children in the family were of age to support themselves, so Maria pursued her long-felt religious calling. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York. After a year of formation, Cope received the religious habit of the Franciscan Sisters along with the new name Marianne. She became first a teacher and then a principal in newly established schools for the region’s German-speaking immigrants. Following the revolutions of 1848, numerous German immigrants entered the United States.[citation needed]

By 1870, Cope became a member of the governing council of her religious congregation. She helped found the first two Catholic hospitals in Central New York, with charters stipulating that medical care was to be provided to all, regardless of race or creed. She was appointed by the Superior General to govern St. Joseph’s Hospital, the first public hospital in Syracuse, serving from 1870-77.[citation needed]

As hospital administrator, Cope became involved with the move of Geneva Medical College of Hobart College from Geneva, New York to Syracuse, where it became the College of Medicine at Syracuse University. She contracted with the college to accept their students for treating patients in her hospital, to further their medical education. Her stipulation in the contract—again unique for the period—was the right of the patients to refuse care by the students. These experiences helped prepare her for the special ministry she next pursued.[4]

Call to Hawaii[edit]

In 1883, Cope, by then Superior General of the congregation, received a plea for help from King Kalākaua of Hawaii to care for leprosy sufferers. More than 50 religious congregations had already declined his request for Sisters to do this, because leprosy was considered to be highly contagious. She responded enthusiastically to the letter:

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.’[5]

The Sisters of St. Francis, at the Kakaʻako Branch Hospital.

Walter Murray Gibson with the Sisters of St. Francis and daughters of Hansen’s disease patients, at the Kakaʻako Branch Hospital.

Cope departed from Syracuse with six other Sisters to travel to Honolulu to answer this call, arriving on November 8, 1883. They traveled on the SS Mariposa. With Mother Marianne as supervisor, the Sisters’ task was to manage Kakaʻako Branch Hospital on Oʻahu, which served as a receiving station for Hansen’s disease patients gathered from all over the islands. The more severe cases were processed and shipped to the island of Molokaʻi for confinement in the settlement at Kalawao, and then later at Kalaupapa.

The following year, at the request of the government, Cope set up Malulani Hospital, the first general hospital on the island ofMaui. Soon, she was called back to the hospital in Oahu. She had to deal with a government-appointed administrator’s abuse of the leprosy patients at the Branch Hospital at Kakaako, an area adjoining Honolulu. She told the government that either the administrator had to be dismissed or the Sisters would return to Syracuse. She was given charge of the overcrowded hospital. Her return to Syracuse to re-assume governance of the congregation was delayed, as both the government and church authorities thought she was essential to the success of the mission.

Two years later, the king awarded Mother Marianne with the Cross of a Companion of the Royal Order of Kapiolani for her care of his people.[6] The work continued to increase. In November 1885, Cope opened the Kapiolani Home with the support of the government, to provide shelter to homeless female children of leprosy patients. had convinced the government that it was of vital need to save the , the Kapiolani Home was opened. The home was located on the grounds of a leprosy hospital because only the Sisters would care for children closely associated with people suffering from leprosy.

In 1887 a new government came into office. It ended the forced exile of leprosy patients to Molokai and closed the specialty hospital in Oahu. A year later, the authorities pleaded with Cope to establish a new home for women and girls on the Kalaupapa peninsula of Molokai. She accepted the call, knowing that it might mean she would never return to New York. “We will cheerfully accept the work…” was her response.[4]


Mother Marianne Cope beside the funeral bier of Father Damien

Mother Marianne Cope (in the wheelchair) only a few days before she died.

Scales used by Mother Marianne Cope and the Sisters to measure medicine, Kalaupapa, Hawaii, late 1880s

In November 1888 Cope moved to Kalaupapa. She cared for the dying Father DamienSS.CC., who was already known internationally for his work in the leper colony, and began to take over his burdens. She had met him shortly after her arrival in Hawaii.

When Father Damien died on April 15, 1889, the government officially gave Cope charge for the care of the boys of Kalaupapa, in addition to her existing role in caring for the female residents of the colony. A prominent local businessman,Henry Perrine Baldwin, donated money for the new home. Mother Marianne and two assistants, Sister Leopoldina Burns and Sister Vincentia McCormick, opened and ran a new girls’ school, which she named in Baldwin’s honor. A community ofReligious Brothers was sought to come and care for the boys. After the arrival of four Brothers of the Sacred Heart in 1895,[7]Cope withdrew the Sisters to the Bishop Home for leprous women and girls. Joseph Dutton was given charge of Baldwin House by the government.[citation needed]


Cope died on August 9, 1918, due to natural causes; she was buried on the grounds of the Bishop Home. In 2005 her remains were returned to Syracuse for reinterment at her mother house.[8]

Legacy and honors[edit]

  • 1927 — Saint Francis Hospital was founded in Honolulu in her memory as a community hospital and to train nurses to work with Hansen’s disease patients.
  • 1957 — St. Francis opened the Child Development Center at the Honolulu Community Church.
  • 1962 — St. Francis Home Care Services was established, the first in Hawaii to specialize in home health care for Hawaiian people.
  • 2006 — The Sisters of St. Francis chose to focus on long-term care, transferring the two facilities of St. Francis Hospital to a private board. The facilities are now known as the Hawaii Medical Center East in Liliha, and Hawaii Medical Center West in Ewa.[9]Both hospitals were closed at the end of 2011.[10] In August 2012, The Queen’s Health Systems agreed to acquire the former Hawaii Medical Center West and reopen the hospital in the fall of 2013.[11]
  • The Saint Francis School was founded in Mother Marianne’s honor in 1924, operating as a girls-only school for grades 6-9.[12]

The community which Cope founded on Molokai continues to minister to the few patients afflicted with Hansen Disease. The Franciscan Sisters work at several schools and minister to parishioners throughout the Hawaiian Islands.


In 1993, Katherine Dehlia Mahoney was allegedly healed from multiple organ failure after praying to Marianne Cope for intercession. On December 20, 2004, after receiving the unanimous affirmation of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, Pope John Paul II ordered a decree to be issued authenticating this recovery as a miracle to be attributed to the intercession of Mother Marianne. On May 14, 2005, Marianne was beatified in Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI in his first beatification ceremony.

Over 100 followers from Hawaiʻi attended the beatification ceremony, along with 300 members of Cope’s religious congregation in Syracuse. At the ceremony, presided over by Cardinal José Saraiva MartinsC.M.F., the Hawaiian song “Makalapua” (a favorite of Cope) was sung.[13] Her feast day was established as January 23 and is celebrated by her own religious congregation, the Diocese of Honolulu, and the Diocese of Syracuse.

After the announcement by the Holy See of her impending beatification, during January 2005 Blessed Marianne’s remains were moved to the motherhouse of the congregation in Syracuse. A temporary shrine was established to honor her. By 2009, the erection of a marble sarcophagus in the mother house chapel was complete. Her remains were interred in the new shrine on her feast day of January 23.[14]

Mother Marianne Cope statue dedicated January 23, 2010, in Honolulu.

In 2007 a statue of her was erected at St Joseph’s Church in her native Utica, whose parish school she had attended in her childhood.[15]


On December 6, 2011, the Congregation for the Causes of Saintsfound 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.[16] On December 19, 2011, Pope Benedict signed and approved the promulgation of the decree for Marianne’s sainthood and she was canonized on October 21, 2012. a relic was carried to Honolulu from her mother church.

After Father Damien, Cope is the second person to be canonized who had served in the Hawaiian Islands. She was both the first Beatification and the last Canonisation under Pope Benedict XVI. In 2014 the church announced that the remains of Saint Marianne will be re-interred at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, which is undergoing an extensive renovation. This is a more convenient location for the faithful than the Kalaupapa National Historical Park on Molokaʻi, where access is primarily by plane or mule train. She sometimes attended Mass at the Cathedral and it was where Father Damien was ordained. The Franciscan Convent in New York which held her remains has had to move to a new location because its former buildings needed extensive repairs.[17]

Ecumenical veneration[edit]

Cope is honored jointly with Saint Damien of Moloka’i on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA). Their shared feast day is celebrated on April 15.

In arts and media[edit]

Paul Cox directed the film Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999). Mother Marianne was portrayed by South African actress Alice KrigeFather Damien was portrayed by David Wenham[18]

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up^ Pope Benedict XVI (May 14, 2005). “Apostolic Letter by which the Supreme Pontiff has raised to the glory of the altars the Servants of God: Ascensión Nicol Goñi and Marianne Cope”. The Holy See. Retrieved March 19, 2010. (Latin)
  2. Jump up to:a b (October 21, 2012). “Mother Marianne becomes an American saint”. CNN. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  3. Jump up^ Krista J. Karch (May 11, 2005). “The road to sainthood: Mother Marianne worked years in Utica mills before joining convent”The Utica Observer-Dispatch. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  4. Jump up to:a b “Biography of St Marianne Cope”. Sisters of St Francis of the Neumann Communities.
  5. Jump up^ “Biography – Marianne Cope (1838-1918)”Official Vatican website. RetrievedMarch 19, 2010.
  6. Jump up^ Mary Laurence Hanley; O. A. Bushnell (January 1992). Pilgrimage and Exile: Mother Marianne of Molokai. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 225–226. ISBN 978-0-8248-1387-1.
  7. Jump up^ website of the Damien Memorial School,; accessed April 19, 2015.
  8. Jump up^ “Mother Marianne Cope and the Sisters of St Francis”Kalaupapa National Historic Park website. National Park Service. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  9. Jump up^ “Historical Timeline: A Legacy of Firsts in the Islands”St Francis Healthcare System website. St Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii. Retrieved March 19,2010.
  10. Jump up^ “Last five patients leave Hawaii Medical Center West”web site. Pacific Business News. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  11. Jump up^ “Queen’s Medical Center and St. Francis reach agreement on Hawaii Medical Center West acquisition”Hawaii Medical Center West infosite. Pacific Business News. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  12. Jump up^ “About Us: Welcome to Saint Francis School”School website. Saint Francis School. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  13. Jump up^ Mary Adamski (May 5, 2005). “‘Blessed’ Mother Cope: The Kalaupapa nun reaches the second step to sainthood”Honolulu Star-Bulletin. RetrievedMarch 19, 2010.
  14. Jump up^ Shrine of Blessed Marianne Cope; accessed April 19, 2015.
  15. Jump up^ Jessica Doyle (October 3, 2007). “Shrine to Mother Marianne honors life of serving poor”The Utica Observer-Dispatch. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  16. Jump up^ “Path to Sainthood Cleared for Blessed Marianne Cope” (news release)The Sisters of St Francis of the Neumann Communities, December 6, 2011.
  17. Jump up^ “Saint’s remains return to Hawaii permanently”, CBS News Interactive, 31 July 2014