January North America Religious Saints

Saint Marianne Cope

Feast Day: January 23

How To Make Kālua Pig

Today we are feasting with… Saint Marianne Cope.

Portrait of Saint Marianne Cope

To celebrate this feast day we are making Kālua Pig. This Hawaiian dish is traditionally prepared in an imu, but we will show you how to make it in an Instapot for the sake of convenience.

The Life of Saint Marianne Cope

Barbara Cope was born on January 23, 1883, in Heppenheim, Germany. She was one of ten children born to Peter and Barbara Cope. One year after her birth the family moved to Utica, New York, USA.

When Barbara was in eighth grade her father became ill and could no longer work. Barbara graduated school and began working at a factory in order to help provide for her family.

Her father passed away in 1862, allowing Barbara to pursue her religious vocation. She joined the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis located in Syracuse, New York, where she took the name Marianne.

Sister Marianne became a teacher at the local Catholic school and later became principal. The sisters also established Catholic hospitals that cared for all people, regardless of race and religion, which was an uncommon practice at the time. Marianne became a nurse and director of one of these hospitals.

Marianne soon displayed her innate leadership qualities and before long she was named Superior. One day, Mother Marianne received a life changing letter from King Kalākaua. The king needed sisters to help care for the leprosy sufferers on the island of Molokai.

The king had addressed over fifty other religious convents before asking Mother Marianne. When Mother Marianne asked her fellow sisters for volunteers thirty-five sisters signed up immediately.

On November 8, 1883, Marianne and six other sisters arrived at the island of Honolulu. Their mission was to care for suspected leprosy sufferers in the Kakaʻako Branch Hospital on Oʻahu. One year later, Marianne founded the first general hospital on the island of Maui.

She was soon called back to Oʻahu to deal with the incapable administrator that had been in charge of the Kakaʻako Branch Hospital. Marianne requested that the administrator be let go and she was given full control of yet another hospital.

Two years later the grateful king awarded Marianne with the Cross of a Companion of the Royal Order of Kapiʻolani for her services.

In November 1887, Marianne founded the Kapiʻolani Home for the female children of leprosy patients. This home was later called the Bishop House.

In 1878, the policy that forced leprosy patients to be relocated to the island of Molokai was abolished. The government then closed the hospital located on the island of Oʻahu.

In 1888, Marianne was asked to build a new home for women and girls on the island of Molokai. Here she cared for the dying Father Damien, who was later canonized a saint. After his death she was given responsibility for the male patients until the Brothers of the Sacred Heart could arrive.

The long years of work soon confined Marianne to a wheelchair but she still managed to carry out her duties. Marianne never contracted leprosy herself in all the years she served on the islands.

Marianne died on August 9, 1918, and was canonized in 2012.

Her feast day is January 23 and she is the patron of lepers and outcasts.

Saint Marianne Cope, pray for us!

How to make Kālua Pig