Monday, January 23, 2012

Blessed Mother Marianne Cope

Born on this day in 1838 in Germany, Barbara Cope emigrated with her parents to the United States in 1840. At age 24 after working in a factory for a couple years, she joined the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Syracuse, NY. She took the name Marianne. 

She held several leadership roles, and was then superior of St. Joseph Hospital in Syracuse. During this time, she gained many skills not only with leadership but with working with the sick.

In 1883 the Hawaiian government needed help to run the Kakaako Receiving Station for people suspected of having leprosy. Mother Marianne and six sisters said "yes" and opened a hospital and school for girls. 

In 1888 Mother Marianne and two of her sisters went to Molokai where St. Damien was working. She and St. Damien both worked for the outcasts in the same place until his death in 1889. She lived another 29 years and served the weak and outcast as a Sister of St. Francis, until her death on August 9, 1918.

“Let us make the very best use of the precious moments and do all in our power for His dear sake and for His greater honor and glory." Blessed Marianne, circa 1900

During this time of year, many of us are caring for sick loved ones. Let us do so with all the love and energy we can muster, after the example of Blessed Marianne.

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