After second miracle, Blessed Mother Marianne moves closer to sainthood

The gravesite of Blessed Marianne Cope in Kalaupapa.

Less than two years after the canonization of Saint Damien of Molokai, it appears that Blessed Marianne Cope may now be on the fast track to becoming a saint.

A second miracle attributed to Mother Marianne’s intercession has been declared by the seven physicians at the Vatican Congregation for Saints’ Causes. According to Mother Marianne’s religious community, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in Syracuse, N.Y., there was no medical explanation for the cure of a woman who had been suffering from an allegedly irreversible fatal condition.

No other details were available to the public about this case, including the patient’s condition, identity, age or location.

“The board concluded the woman’s healing was inexplicable according to available medical knowledge. The doctors on the case expected her to die and were amazed scientifically at her survival,” according to a press release from the Sisters of St. Francis.

Approval of this second miracle from the Vatican medical board on June 16 was just one step toward sainthood. Two more Vatican examinations, by a board of theologians and a committee of cardinals and bishops, must take place before the case is brought before the pope.

The first miracle that led to Mother Marianne’s beatification was approved in January of 2004. A New York girl was dying from multiple organ failure when prayers to Mother Marianne allegedly led to her recovery. After review, the miracle was affirmed by Pope John Paul II and Mother Marianne was beatified at the Vatican on May 14, 2005.

Mother Marianne arrived in Hawaii in 1883 from Syracuse as the head of her religious community. She led the first group of Franciscan sisters to Hawaii and established a system of nursing care for Hansen’s disease patients. After five years in Honolulu, Mother Marianne then spent her next 30 years on Molokai.

Mother Marianne died in Kalaupapa in 1918 after completely devoting herself to the patients who had been outcast from society.


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