A view of Kalaupapa where Father Damien and Mother Marianne tended to those afflicted with Hansen’s disease

Join the island of Molokai in celebrating this fall when the island receives its second Saint on October 21, 2012. Father Damien was canonized in October 2009 and now Mother Marianne Cope, who assisted the patients of Kalaupapa for 30 years, will achieve Sainthood in a ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.

Originally from New York, Mother Marianne joined the Sisters of Saint Francis in 1862 and arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1883. Within two years of her arrival, she was awarded the medal of the Royal Order of Kapiolani by King Kalakaua for her work and efforts.

Mother Marianne was instrumental to Father Damien during the last years of his life, ensuring he was respected and treated well during his trip to Oahu as leaders no longer welcomed him once he contracted Hansen’s disease.  She traveled to Molokai in 1888, prior to Father Damien’s death in 1889, and became his successor at the Boy’s Home in Kalawao. Her care and efforts at Kalaupapa from 1888 to 1918 for those afflicted with Hansen’s disease have been greatly recognized and she has completed the four steps to become a Saint:


1.     Servant of God – her life servant at Kalaupapa. She attended to Kalaupapa patients from 1888 to 1918 when she passed away.


Mother Marianne’s grave marker on the Kalaupapa Peninsulaway.

2.     Venerable – approval of church officials, postulator. On April 19, 2004 Mother Marianne became Venerable and Pope Paul affirmed her heroic virtue in a special ceremony at the Vatican.
3.      Blessed (Beatified) – one miracle acquired through the intercession. Her Beatification occurred May 14, 2005 when she was proclaimed Blessed Marianne Cope and her feastday as her birthday, January 23rd.
4.    Canonization – requires a second miracle by the Pope. June 16, 2011 was the first state of Canonization when the Vatican Medial Board approved a second miracle.

Mother Marianne will achieve Sainthood in this October’s canonization ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. The relic will then tour the Hawaiian islands before reaching Molokai on November 3rd when girls from St. Francis High School will carry the relic down the trail to Kalaupapa.

For more information on Mother Marianne and her pending Sainthood, please visit: