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“That’s such a great leader who can inspire people to calm their fears and go on with their work,” said Sister Patricia Burkard, past general minister of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.

Mother Marianne is being canonized after the church determined that through her intercession, two people were miraculously cured.

Teenager Kate Mahoney’s medically inexplicable recovery from multiple organ failure in 1993 paved the way for her beatification in 2005. Sharon Smith’s successful 2005 fight against an infection that tore a hole between her intestines and stomach was the miracle needed for her to be canonized.

They were cured after friends and family prayed to Mother Marianne. In Smith’s case, a sister pinned a bag of soil containing some of Mother Marianne’s bone fragments to her hospital gown.

Two-hundred fifty pilgrims from Hawaii are traveling to Rome for the ceremony, among them nine Kalaupapa patients. Although cured, a dozen people still live at the peninsula, all older than 70.

It will be the second trip to Rome in three years for Hawaii pilgrims. Many made a similar trip in 2009 for the canonization of Saint Damien, a Belgian priest who moved to Kalaupapa to care for leprosy patients in 1873 and who died of the disease 16 years later.

Silva said Mother Marianne’s life has many lessons for people today, even though leprosy isn’t a threat anymore. Her example can be applied to other issues, such as domestic violence or homelessness.

“She is an inspiration to us to do the hard work, to not always do the glory work, but to roll up our sleeves and do what needs to be done for the sake of our brothers and sisters,” Silva said.