U.S. Nun's Cause Moves Forward with Initial Ruling on Second Miracle

The sainthood cause of Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai has taken a significant step forward with a Vatican medical board ruling in favor of a miracle attributed to her intercession.


Blessed Marianne Cope was born in what is now Hessen Germany, but her family emigrated to the US when she was one year old. As a teenager and young adult, she worked in a factory to help support her family, entering religious life at age 24 only after her siblings were grown.

Serving first as a teacher, then principal, she eventually became a nursing administrator. She was known for standing up for patient rights, even for those who were considered society’s rejects.

By time she was 46 years old, she was Superior General of her order. However, she stepped down from that position in order to lead a medical mission to Hawaii. She helped establish several hospitals, and provided important advocacy for patients affected by leprosy. She was instrumental in establishing a children’s home for such persons.

When the government of Hawaii decided to return to its earlier policy of exiling persons with leprosy to Molokai, she volunteered to also go there, leading six other sisters. She spent 30 years caring for the persons there, providing continuance and fulfillment of St. Damien’s work. (He died a few months after her arrival on Molokai.)