The remains of St. Marianne Cope will return to Hawaii.
Cope’s remains, which were exhumed from Kalaupapa during the canonization process, have been housed at a shrine of the Sisters of St. Francis’ main chapel in Syracuse, N.Y., since 2005.
In a news release by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, the religious order said the chapel as well as the buildings that house the sisters are no longer structurally sound. A new home will be built in another location in Syracuse and is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2014.
A special reliquary chapel is being built at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace on Bishop Street in Honolulu to house the relics of both St. Marianne and St. Damien. The cathedral is currently being renovated.
"It is fitting that her remains be laid to rest in Hawaii since St. Marianne spent more than 35 years ministering on the island, especially in Kalaupapa to those afflicted with Hansen’s disease. Hawaii is a major destination for people the world over and having St. Marianne’s remains there would ensure a steady stream of pilgrims who would continue to be inspired by her, seek her intercession and imitate her dedication and faith," said the congregation in the news release.
Cope was canonized in October 2012. She arrived at Kalaupapa in 1888 with six other nuns from the religious order to tend to patients who suffered from Hansen’s disease. The religious order carried on the work of Father Damine De Veuster’s who died from the disease.
They operated the infirmary and opened a home for women and girls and later a home for boys. Cope worked on Molokai until her death in 1918 at 80.