Molokai is on the verge of receiving its second saint with the recent recognition of a second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Mother Marianne Cope.
On Tuesday, several cardinals and bishops on the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes for Saints announced a finding by a Vatican medical board that there is no medical explanation for a “second miracle” that occurred when Cope helped heal a 14-year old with a fatal health condition.
According to Syracuse.com: “In 2004, Vatican officials ruled that a miraculous recovery involving a 14-year-old Syracuse girl in 1993 was the result of Mother Marianne’s intercession. The girl, Kate Mahoney, nearly died from complications after cancer surgery at Crouse Hospital. Sister Mary Laurence Hanley, a Franciscan nun, visited Mahoney in the hospital and prayed to Mother Marianne to intercede with God on her behalf. Others also prayed for her to Mother Marianne. The Sisters of St. Francis have a shrine to Mother Marianne at their residence on Court Street in Syracuse.”
Mother Marianne Cope, a German-born Franciscan nun, spent 30 years in Kalaupapa following St. Damien de Veuster, the Belgian priest known as “Father Damien,” who died of leprosy in 1889. Damien, who was canonized in 2009, is considered the patron saint of Hawaii and of HIV/AIDS patients. Cope, who dedicated her life to the caring of Hansen’s disease patients, died in 1918 of natural causes and is buried in Kalaupapa.
In 2004, Pope John Paul II declared Cope “Blessed” following the first miracle attributed to her. The 1993 cure of a teenage cancer patient in Syracuse, N.Y., who was dying of organ failure until a Franciscan nun prayed for Marianne’s intercession, was deemed the first miracle.
The canonization still requires the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, expected sometime next year. The sisters St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, based in Syracuse, say they will not reveal the details of the miracle until then.
Prior to this announcement, the St. Francis School on Oahu dedicated a new statue of Blessed Marianne Cope on Nov. 23. Principal Sister Joan of Arc Souza and students placed flower and colorful yarn lei around the neck of the 5-foot-2-inch, gray marble statue, which was recently installed at the Manoa school next to Marianne Hall.
“For little Hawaii, with our population, and we’ve come up with two saints,” said Souza. “This is spectacular.”