- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Hawaii, N.Y. women to be elevated to sainthood
HONOLULU (AP) — In life, Mother Marianne Cope was known for her strength and kindness, battling bureaucrats in Hawaii as she led a group of fellow Franciscan nuns to care for leprosy patients in the islands.
And since her death 100 years ago, she has been credited with helping cure two people.
On Sunday, Mother Marianne will be declared a saint, with the Vatican formally recognizing what her supporters have long believed in their hearts: She is in heaven and that through her intercession two people were miraculously cured of ailments that should have killed them.
At the ceremony presided over by Pope Benedict XVI, the church will also canonize six others, including Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th-century Mohawk Indian who spent most of her life in what is now upstate New York.
Bishop Larry Silva of the Honolulu diocese said the church canonizes people so adherents can be inspired by their example to go to heaven and become saints themselves.
“Our ultimate goal is to be in heaven and we know the journey there is not always easy. So we need role models, people who can inspire us through by their lives to do the same,” he said.
The event comes nearly a century after Mother Marianne’s 1918 death at Kalaupapa, an isolated peninsula on Molokai Island where Hawaii governments forcibly exiled leprosy patients for decades.
Mother Marianne heard the call to come to Hawaii from New York state in 1883 when she was 45. She was the only religious leader in the U.S. and Europe — of 50 asked — who agreed to a request by Hawaii’s king and queen to come to the islands to help leprosy patients.
At the time, there was widespread fear of the disfiguring disease, which can cause skin lesions, mangled fingers and toes and lead to blindness.
The Hawaiian kingdom began exiling patients to Kalaupapa in 1866 to control the disease, a policy that remained in place until a century later even though new drugs in the 1940s made it curable.
Shortly after her arrival from Syracuse, N.Y., she had learned that a government-appointed administrator was abusing patients at Branch Hospital in Honolulu.
Mother Marianne threatened to leave with the six sisters that accompanied her unless the government removed the official. The government soon gave her full oversight of the hospital.
She treated everyone with dignity, no matter their station in life, said Sister Davilyn Ah Chick, the principal of Our Lady of Perpetual of Help School outside Honolulu.
Mother Marianne looked after the material well-being of patients by doing things like planting flowers and making clothes for children born to them. She looked after the children with particular care because the disease prevented them from touching their own mothers and fathers.
All the while, she was addressing the fear that some of the sisters had of leprosy. She had them wash their hands before they took care of patients and returned to their quarters.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Mike Shanahan says he'd like to return; RG3 might be benched
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow