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Bishop: Next Hawaii saint is an inspiration

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 03:30 p.m. HST, Dec 19, 2011

  Associated Press St. Francis School Principal Sister Joan of Arc Souza, left, and students Swamik Lamichhane, center, and Duke Knott place lei on a statue of Blessed Marianne Cope. The school, which is run by the St. Francis religious order to which Cope belonged, unveiled the new statue on Nov. 23.

The Diocese of Honolulu says the impending sainthood of Blessed Marianne Cope makes Hawaii “twice blessed” after the 2009 canonization of St. Damien.

Pope Benedict XVI approved seven new saints for the Catholic Church, including Hawaii’s Mother Marianne, who succeeded Damien in caring for leprosy patients exiled to a Molokai peninsula in the late 1880s.

Benedict signed decrees approving miracles attributed to the intecession of the seven, clearing the last hurdle before their canonizations.

Benedict also signed decrees that 65 Catholics died as martyrs during Spain's civil war and will be beatified, one step shy of possible sainthood.

Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva said Monday her sainthood and work at Kalaupapa serving the poor and outcast is an inspiration. He says “her impending canonization will give us courage to face the severe social and physical diseases that eat away at our society.” 

A reliquary of bone fragments from Marianne’s remains is on display at Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in downtown Honolulu.

A date for canonization has not yet been set.


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