Recipient of purported miracle credits Kalaupapa Nun

Sharon Smith of New York
Sharon Smith of New York
Hawaii Bishop Larry Silva
Hawaii Bishop Larry Silva

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the New York convent where she first worked and worshipped, Blessed Marianne Cope's photographs and personal items document her journey from St. Francis Sister to sainthood.

"It's where she actually lived. And we still have the same front door that she left through when she went to Hawaii," said Sister Patricia Burkard of the Sisters of St. Francis..

Dozens of Catholics gathered in the Syracuse chapel Tuesday for the formal announcement that the Vatican credits a second miracle to Cope.

"All the doctors say is we have no medical explanation for this," Hawaii Bishop Larry Silva said.

Pope Benedict XVI believes Cope is responsible for the sudden healing of Sharon Smith of New York. The 59-year-old suffered from untreatable pancreatitis.

"The doctors and nurses did all they could for me," Smith said. "I had many surgeries."

St Francis nuns said when a bag of soil holding Cope's bone fragments was pinned to Smith's hospital gown, and prayers were offered to Blessed Marianne, the illness disappeared.

Smith and the Vatican proclaimed it as a miracle.

"It had to be, as far as I was concerned, because I was not ready to die. But I was dying," Smith said.

She was at the Syracuse chapel for the ceremony to honor Cope, who established two hospitals in New York before she answered a call to come to Hawaii. For about thirty years she ministered to leprosy patients in Kalaupapa, continuing Father Damien's work.

Bishop Silva said Marianne Cope had a simple mission.

"Service and love of God," he said.

Blessed Marianne Cope's canonization in Rome is expected next year, when she'll officially be elevated to the status of saint.

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