Lessons from Mother Marianne

(HawaiiNewsNow) - Kalaupapa then, and now. A far cry from the dark chapter in Hawaii history, when anyone suspected of having Hansen's Disease was dumped there with little more than the clothes on their back.

Flights now shuttle people and patients back and forth daily - A big change from Mother Marianne's day when patients were trapped there and people didn't dare go near Kalaupapa.

Although she was known as the Mother of Outcasts, one of Mother Marianne's lasting legacies on Kalaupapa, a lot of people now want to travel here and some choose to see it by mule.

One of the last remaining patients in Kalaupapa, Gloria Marks operates Damien tours to keep the legacy of this place and the 8,000 patients once banished here, alive. Before his death, the late Richard Marks pushed to create Kalaupapa National Historic Park to do just that.

St. Francis Schools is spreading Mother Marianne's inspirational story with a creative curriculum. Everything from rap to skits, students are inspired by her life and legacy.

Hawaii News Now will retrace Mother Marianne's roots in Syracuse, New York. That's the first stop on the pilgrimage to Rome to celebrate her Sainthood.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved

Having 2 Saints in one national park let alone one State in one tiny little peninsula in Kalaupapa is truly amazing.

We have a lot of international visitors. We also have a renewed interest from family, ohana here in Hawaii.

This was totally isolated. In Damien's time they actually had guards to make sure no one could get out. If found at the top, they were brought back like prisoners.