Saint Marianne Cope
"He paulele ho'i 'oe"
("Faithful to God's Loving Plan")
Saint Marianne, formerly Barbara Koob (variants: Kob, Kopp, and now officially Cope) was born on Jan. 23, 1838 in the German Grand Duchy of Hess-Darmstadt. She was baptized the following day in what is now SE Hessen, West Germany. She was the daughter of farmer Peter Koob and Barbara Witzenbacher Koob. By his second wife, Barbara’s mother, Peter Koob had five children in Germany and five children in the United States. In 1839, the year following Barbara’s birth, the family immigrated to the United States to seek opportunity. The Koob family settled in Utica, New York and became members of St. Joseph Parish, where the children attended the parish school. In 1848, Barbara received her First Holy Communion and was confirmed at St. John Parish in Utica when, in accordance with the practice of the time, the bishop of the diocese came to the largest church in the area to administer these two sacraments at the same ceremony. Barbara, in August, 1862, entered the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis in Syracuse, N.Y., and, on Nov. 19, 1862, she was invested at the Church of the Assumption. She soon became known as Sister Marianne. Saint Marianne, in 1877, was elected Second Provencial Mother of the Syracuse Franciscans. In 1883, she received a letter from a priest in Hawaii begging for help on behalf of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani for the Kingdom of Hawaii. From 50 other religious communities in the United States, only Saint Marianne's Order of Sisters agreed to come to Hawaii to care for people with Hansen's Disease (known then as leprosy). The Sisters arrived in Hawaii on November 8, 1883, dedicating themselves to the care of the 200 lepers in Kakaako Branch Hospital on Oahu. This hospital was built to accommodate 100 people, but housed more than 200 people. The condition at the hospital were deplorable. Each Sister-nurse learned to wash the fetid wounds, to apply soothing ointment to the wounds, and to bring a sense of order to the lawlessness that prevails when there is abandonment of hope. Saint Marianne founded Malulani Hospital, Maui's first general hospital for the ordinary sick on that island a year later.
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