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St. Marianne Cope

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Saint Marianne Cope


Barbara Koob, or Cope, was born in Germany in the year of Our Lord 1838. The next year, her family emigrated to the United States, settling near Utica in central New York. In 1862, Barbara entered the Third Order Franciscans in Syracuse, taking the name Sister Marianne. Fifteen years later she became Mother Superior, having spent several previous years running the first public hospital in Syracuse, St. Joseph’s. In 1883 the order received a letter from Hawaii, begging for help with caring for the lepers there. Mother Marianne and several of her nuns were the only American religious to answer this plea, and they swiftly improved the terrible conditions of the lepers on Oahu. A few years later, at the request of the ailing Father Damien, the sisters established themselves on the island of Molokai, taking over St. Damien’s initiatives there. The famed author Robert Louis Stevenson, though not a Catholic, was a prominent supporter of their work. Mother Marianne tended to the lepers in Hawaii for over thirty years, until her death in 1918. True to a prediction she made, none of the sisters ever contracted the disease.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for January 23rd

AT Barcelona, St. Raymond of Pennafort. His birthday is the 7th of January.

At Rome, the holy virgin and martyr Emerentiana. Being yet only a catechumen, she was stoned to death by the Gentiles, whilst praying at the tomb of St. Agnes, her foster-sister.

At Philippi, in Macedonia, St. Parmenas, one of the first seven deacons, who by the grace of God faithfully discharging the office of preaching committed to him, obtained the glory of martyrdom in the time of Trajan.

At Caesarea, in Mauritania (Morocco), the holy martyrs Severian and his wife Aquila, who were consumed by fire.

At Antinous, a city of Egypt, St. Asclas, martyr, who, after various torments, was thrown into a river and gave up his precious soul to God.

At Ancyra, in Galatia, St. Clement, bishop. After having frequently endured torments, he finally completed his martyrdom under Diocletian.

In the same place, St. Agathangelus, who suffered on the same day, under the governor Lucius.

At Alexandria, St. John the Almoner, bishop of that city, most celebrated for his charity towards the poor.

At Toledo, St. Ildefonsus, bishop, who, on account of his great purity of life, and his defense of the virginity of the Mother of God against the heretics who impugned it, received from her a brilliant white vestment, and being renowned for sanctity, was called to heaven.

In the Province of Valeria, St. Martyrius, monk, mentioned by pope St. Gregory.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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