Special mass to be held Jan. 23 for Mother Marianne Cope

Bishop Robert J. Cunningham will celebrate a special Mass tomorrow morning on the anniversary of Blessed Marianne Cope's birth. The Feast Day Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. in the Chapel of the Sisters of St. Francis Mother House, 2500 Court St. in Syracuse. The public is welcome to attend.

Mother Marianne Cope, born Jan. 23, 1838, was a Franciscan Nun of the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis. She was born in Heppenheim, Germany and entered the religious life in Syracuse. She was the foundress of St. Joseph Hospital in Syracuse and St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica.

Mother Marianne spent her adult life living, working and caring for the lepers who were forced to live on Kalaupapa, off the island of Molokai, Hawaii. Blessed Marianne never contracted the disease. She died on Aug. 9, 1918.

Mother Marianne was the first person beatified by Pope Benedict XVI, raising her to the status of Blessed in the Roman Catholic Church. Another miracle attributed to her will be needed to move her cause toward sainthood.

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