Saint Marianne Cope

My Top Ten Favorite Saints

I have always thought it says a lot about Catholics as to whether they have favorite saints, and who they are if they do have special saints.  Here are my top ten.

10.  Saint Andreas Wouters-Most saints have been extraordinary men and women.  That was decidedly not the case with Andreas Wouters!  A scandalous priest, he fathered several children.  Suspended from his priestly duties, he was living in disgrace when God granted him the opportunity to die a martyr’s death, an opportunity he seized with both hands like a drowning man cast a life line. His courage and steadfastness redeemed his life of sin.  May all of us have such a happy death as he did.  Go here to read about him.

 9.  Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ-Not canonized yet, I have no doubt that “God’s Jester” is a saint in Heaven.  During the Cristeros Rebellion in Mexico, he adopted many disguises to bring the sacraments to the Mexican people.  A lover of jokes, he is proof positive that saints need not be solemn.  When the Mexican government executed him, a death he met with incredible courage, the officials took copious pictures which appeared in newspapers.  The strategy backfired with Cristeros troops treating the pictures as precious relics and carrying them with them into battle.  Go here to read about him.

 8.  Saint Marianne Cope– Throughout my life I have been blessed with the friendship of strong women, starting with the love of my formidable sainted mother, and perhaps that is why I have always been drawn to strong female saints.  Few have been stronger than Mother Marianne and her nuns who pioneered the care for female lepers in Hawaii.  No difficulty or danger could deter her from bringing God’s love to her lepers.  Go here to read about her.

 7.  Venerable Matt Talbot-Some saints become famous during their lifetime and some, the vast majority no doubt, are known only to God.  Matt Talbot’s was a quiet path to sainthood that would be known only to God, but for the accident of his dying on a street in Dublin.  However, God does not see as man sees, and I have always thought that this reformed drunk ranks high among the champions of Christ.  Go here to read about him.

 6.  Saint Kateri Tekakwitha-Some saints God decides to distinguish with miracles after their death.  Such was the case of Lily of the Mohawks.  Go here to read about her. Continue reading

Mother Marianne

 

Born on January 23, 1838 in Heppenheim, in the Grand Duchy of Hesse, Maria Anna Barbara Koob moved with her family the next year to Utica, New York.  Her father became an invalid when Maria was in the eighth grade.  She left school and worked in a factory to help support her family.  By 1862 her younger siblings were old enough to take care of themselves, and she felt free to follow her heart’s desire by joining the Sisters of the Third Order Regulars of Saint Francis based in Syracuse, New York.  After her novitiate, she served as a teacher and principal in the parochial schools set up for the children of German-speaking immigrants.

She rapidly showed leadership and organizational skills and from 1870-1877 ran Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.  In 1883, by which time she was Superior General of her congregation, she received a plea for sisters to provide medical assistance to the leper colony on Molokai in Hawaii from the King of Hawaii.  Fifty religious institutes had turned down the King, but he struck paydirt with the fifty-first.  Mother Marianne responded enthusiastically, and she and six of her sisters landed in Honolulu on November 8, 1883.  The sisters took charge of  Kakako Branch Hospital which served as a receiving hospital for lepers from all over Hawaii, with the most serious cases sent to Molokai.  The next year Mother Marianne, at the request of the Hawaiian government, set up Malulani Hospital, the first general hospital on Maui. Continue reading

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