Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Recent "saint"ly news

Bl. Marianne Cope (d. 1918)
It seems that one American "blessed" may have just taken the final step toward sainthood.

Yesterday, Vatican officials announced the findings of an independent medical board, who declared that there is no medical or scientific explanation for a recent miracle attributed to Blessed Marianne Cope. They have recommended that Pope Benedict name Bl. Marianne a saint.

It would be up to Pope Benedict to follow the recommendation of the Congregation for the Causes for Saints and to officially add Bl. Marianne to the list of the Church's saints. After that, she would officially be called "Saint" Marianne Cope.

Bl. Marianne Cope was a Franciscan sister who was born in Germany but raised in Utica, New York. In 1862, she entered the Sisters of St. Francis in Syracuse, New York. As a religious sister in New York, she helped to establish two Catholic hospitals in that state. She is best known, however, for her service to leprosy patients in Hawaii during the late 19th and early 20th century. In 1883, she responded to a plea for assistance and volunteered to move to Hawaii to serve. There, she succeeded Father Damien (now St. Damien), a Belgian-born priest also renowned for his ministry to those suffering from leprosy.