HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mother Marianne's road to Sainthood will give the tiny isolated community of Kalaupapa two saints. All the more impressive when you consider the entire United States only has eight. In twelve days, Blessed Marianne Cope will join Saint Damien's ranks.
Three short years after Father Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict, Mother Marianne will become Hawaii's second saint.
"It would be extraordinary to have one, but to have two in this short amount of time is extremely, extremely rare."
Father Damien and Mother Marianne's roads to canonization crossed in Kalaupapa in the 1880's, when the Sisters of Saint Francis answered a call by the King, to minister the exiled Hansen's patients.
"Back then, it was just caring for souls. Damien and Marianne had immense hearts."
It was Marianne who was at Damien's side when the disease took hold. In his dying days, he was comforted by the Syracuse Nun's promise to continue looking after patients. Their presence is seen and felt everywhere around Kalaupapa today.
"To hear all the stories of when Mother Marianne and Blessed Damien, she was around to care when they struggling."
Nine of the last surviving Hansen's patients will travel to Rome to witness her canonization.
"Who represent to me all of the patients who have ever been in Kalaupapa. The 8-thousand plus who have lived and died and have been buried there."
Gloria Marks was at St. Peter's square in 2009 when Father Damien became a Saint. No one could have predicted then, that they'd be back, and so soon.
"It is once in a lifetime. Of course, we didn't know this was going to be a second time."
Gloria has just one regret.
"only that I was wishing it happened long time ago. I was thinking about those patients who didn't have chance we're having now. That's only my thinking sad about it."
So how did this tiny isolated peninsula one mile in diameter, produce two saints, 3 years apart?
"I'd like to think that God arranged in that way so the patients of Kalaupapa can enjoy the canonization of these people who mean so much to them."
Mother Marianne's legacy still lives on in Kalaupapa. Today, there are still 3 sisters of St. Francis serving patients and in their downtime, they make rosaries like this. Free for anyone to take. We'll go ahead and take this for our journey to Rome.
"This our last trip. We're not going anymore."