VATICAN CITY (HawaiiNewsNow) - Pope Benedict XVI has proclaimed seven new saints for the Catholic Church including Hawaii's Mother Marianne Cope.
The decrees were signed on Tuesday by the Pope, which is the last step before the saints' canonizations.
Mother Marianne took care of leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease) patients on the island of Molokai in the late 1880s following the death of Father Damien, who was later canonized in 2009.
For more than 30 years, Mother Marianne ministered to these patients at Kalaupapa, Molokai.
Her compassionate care has earned her the affectionate title of "beloved mother of outcasts."
Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu released the following statement:
"We are hungry for the work." "We do not fear any disease." As we give thanks to God that our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has declared his intention to enroll Blessed Marianne Cope, a Sister of St. Francis, among the saints of heaven, we continue to be inspired by these noteworthy quotes from Mother Marianne herself. Her sainthood is meant to inspire us all to hunger, as she did, for the work of serving the poorest among us in the most trying of circumstances. Her impending canonization will give us courage to face the severe social and physical diseases that eat away at our society.
We are twice blessed in Hawaii with the recent canonization of St. Damien and now with the canonization of this woman of great intelligence, dedication and love. May her legacy in health care, education and spiritual nourishment of the soul move us to work without fear for all that needs to be done to bring the love of Christ Jesus to others! We in Hawaii join all the world in giving thanks to God for this soon-to-be saint!
According to the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, Mother Marianne entered religious life in 1862 in Syracuse, N.Y. where she ministered as a teacher and principal in several state schools.
The date for the canonization ceremony is unknown at this time.