Cope, Saint Marianne

Cope, Saint Marianne,

1838–1918, American Roman Catholic hospital administrator, b. Heppenheim, Germany. In 1939 her family immigrated to the United States, settling in Utica, N.Y. She entered the Sisters of Saint Francis, Syracuse, N.Y., in 1862. After serving as a teacher and principal in several schools, she helped establish St. Elizabeth Hospital, Utica (1866) and St. Joseph's Hospital, Syracuse (1869). She was head administrator of St. Joseph's (1870–77), and became mother general of her congregation. In 1883, she and six other nuns went to Hawaii to help manage hospitals and schools, mainly for leprosyleprosy
or Hansen's disease
, chronic, mildly infectious malady capable of producing, when untreated, various deformities and disfigurements. It is caused by the rod-shaped bacterium Mycobacterium leprae, first described by G.
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 patients. They first worked to improve a dilapidated Oahu hospital that was a receiving station for leprosy patients. Mother Marianne also founded the first general hospital on Maui and a home for daughters of leprosy patients. In 1888 she and two other nuns joined the ailing Father DamienDamien, Father
(Damien De Veuster), 1840–89, Belgian missionary priest and saint, originally named Jozef De Veuster. He went to Hawaii (1864) as a Picpus Father (Father of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary).
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 at the leper colony on Molokai. For the rest of her life, she cared for the patients there, improving the facility and its services. She was beatified in 2005 and canonized in 2012. Feast: Jan. 23.


See biography by M. L. Hanley and O. A. Bushnell (1979, repr. 1981).