• 23 Jan 20

Jan 23 - “St. Marianne Cope” © artwork by Brenda Nippert. Happy Feast Day St. Marianne!

Marianne Cope came to the U.S. from Germany when she was only a year old.  She grew up in Utica New York and joined the Sisters of Saint Francis, an order originally founded by America's first male Saint, John Neumann.  She was a teacher, then a principal and rose to a top position in the order.  She helped found the first two Catholic hospitals in New York, implementing many new ideas such as providing health care to all without prejudice, patient rights and the simple idea of hand washing before and after treating patients. 

After she became Superior General, Mother Marianne received a letter, begging for sisters to come to Hawaii to ministers to the lepers (Hansens Disease).  Father Damien sent 50 letters and Mother Marianne was the only one to answer the call.  She set out with six of her sisters to the island of Molokai.  She would spend the rest of her life there, caring for the lepers and their families.  She fought for their rights, protected them and loved them with all her heart.  When Father Damien, who started the work there caught the disease, Mother Marianne nursed him and continued his work after he died.  They give us a shining example of love and compassion.