On January 12th, a festive celebration was held in the park to recognize the life and achievements of Saint Marianne Cope, who treated many of the victims of Hansen’s disease at Kalaupapa.
Hawaii’s second saint, Mother Marianne was canonized in Rome on October 21, 2012.
Months in the planning, the day was filled with honor and remembrance of her more than 30 years of service to the Hansen’s disease patients sent to the remote Kalaupapa Peninsula on the island of Molokai. A mass was held at Charles R. Bishop Home, the former destination of many women and girls with Hansen’s disease and Saint Marianne’s home from 1888 to 1918.
Throughout the day, National Park Service staff guided visitors to historic locations within the settlement, with new exhibits providing stories and images of St. Marianne’s legacy of service and charity at Kalaupapa. A traditional Hawaiian luau fed over 500 invited guests. “November’s Song,” an original stage play about Mother Marianne’s life was performed in the recently renovated Paschoal Community Hall.
The day-long event was coordinated and hosted by the National Park Service under the incident command system. There were many groups who assisted and supported this safe, successful occasion, including the Sisters of St. Francis, the Diocese of Honolulu, the State of Hawaii’s Department of Health, the Kalaupapa Patient Advisory Council, and the park’s cooperating association, Pacific Historic Parks.
For more information about St. Marianne Cope please visit the parks website below.