Mother Marianne Cope Proclaimed A Saint
Syracuse, NY (WIBX) - A woman who helped establish St. Elizabeth Hospital, in Utica, is becoming a saint.
Theologians and medical board members at the Vatican decided Mother Marianne Cope has performed a second miracle.
In both miracles, soil from Mother Marianne's grave was placed with patients facing major medical issues. The first miracle involved a teenage girl whose organs were failing. She made a full recovery.
The second miracle occurred in 2005, when Sharon Stone was dying from pancreatitis. Soil was also placed with her, and she too, recovered.
Sister Marcella Nachreiner, of the Sisters of St. Francis, explains how a miracle is determined.
"It has to be something that, more or less, defies medicine today," Nachreiner said. "It has to be something that, actually, the medical boards have looked at and they've deemed this person to be someone who really has no hope to live anymore."
Mother Marianne entered religious life in 1862, and four years later, she helped establish Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Utica. In 1869, she established St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse. The two hospitals were among the first 50 in the U.S., and both are still operating to this day.
"She had great administrative skills, and at the time there was a great need for healthcare," Nachreiner said. "There really was no established hospital at that time, in Utica or Syracuse. Part of the work of the Sisters of Saint Francis was to take care of the sick and the elderly."
In 1883, Mother Marianne left for Hawaii to care for patients with Hansen's disease, also known as leprosy. While in Hawaii, she told the sisters working along side her that none of them would ever contract the disease. To this day, sisters from Saint Francis continue to work on the island, and none of them have ever been infected.
Mother Marianne died in 1918 from natural causes.
According to Sister Nachreiner, Mother Marianne Cope will be canonized next year.