HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After being in New York for nine years, Saint Marianne Cope has finally returned to the islands.
Sister Roberta Smith, who made the journey to New York and back to Hawaii, says it’s a pivotal day for the Catholic community.
"This is really a thrilling time here for the sisters and I think for all of the people here in Hawaii. They're excited about this," she said.
“Mother Marianne”, as the Catholics like to call her, landed in Honolulu around 3:30 Sunday afternoon.
Her remains had been enshrined in Syracuse where she grew up and did some of her early ministry. But it's here in Hawaii the Saint's family members say she truly belongs.
"I understood the reason why she was sent to Syracuse, yes. But I always thought her heart was really here and because of that, my heart is here," said Meg Burnett, a great great niece.
"There are very few people that have a relative that's a Saint," said great great nephew Dr. Paul DeMare.
"She wanted to be in Honolulu. Really she wanted to be in Hawaii," he said.
Saint Marianne is best known for her work on Molokai at Kalaupapa. She's recognized for treating lepers, outcasts of society.
"Well certainly we can boast in our state that we have not one but two canonized Saints. For a tiny state, I think that is a lot," said Sister Gerladine Ching who also made the journey to New York.
Sister Geraldine is talking about Father Damien. He too is known for his work in Hawaii.
Saint Marianne was canonized in 2012.
Her reliquary will be held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace.
And although her remains may be confined to Hawaii, her legacy stretches to Catholics all over the world.