Hawaii received its second Catholic saint on Oct. 21, 2012 when Blessed Mother Marianne Cope was canonized as Saint Marianne in a Vatican celebration. Now, Ste. Marianne will be returning to Hawaii in the upcoming year.
The Sisters of St. Francis — who still supply nuns to Kalaupapa where Ste. Marianne worked with leprosy patients — announced it will return the remains of Ste. Marianne back to Hawaii.
At the time of the canonization, St. Marianne’s remains were in Syracuse, N.Y., headquarters to The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Now that they are relocating to a newly constructed campus in Syracuse, the congregation of more than 460 sisters decided it would be a good time to relocate St. Marianne’s remains.
Marianne entered religious life in 1862 in Syracuse and came to Hawaii in 1883 to provide health care to patients with Hansen’s disease, commonly known as leprosy. She arrived in Kalaupapa in 1888, about a year after Father Damien died of Hansen’s disease.
Ste. Marianne will now be returned to the side of St. Damien. The remains of Hawaii’s two saints will be housed by the Diocese of Honolulu at its Our Lady of Peace Cathedral in Honolulu. The cathedral is currently undergoing a $10 million restoration.
“The cathedral is undergoing renovations right now, and it is going to include construction of a small side chapel, which will physically stick out from the cathedral for relics of St. Damien and Ste. Marianne,” said Patrick Downes, spokesman for the Diocese of Honolulu.