Hawaiians stop in Mother Marianne's home of Utica on their way to the Vatican


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - In advance of next weekend's canonization of Mother Marianne Cope, people are beginning their journeys to Vatican City to take part in the historic moment for the Catholic Church.

Mother Marianne, born and raised in Utica, moved to Hawaii where she helped aid people suffering from Leprosy, now known as Hansen's Disease.

In honor of her years of dedication to the Aloha State, several Hawaiians are taking part in a pilgrimage to Vatican City, but stopped in Utica on their way to help honor the home of Mother Marianne.

Pamela Young, a reporter from KITV in Honolulu who was in Utica Sunday said, "I think we all realize that Mother Marianne spent her first 46 years here. We love Hawaii and we know the influence a place can have on someone's character. So we have to be here to see what inspired her for her good works, what inspired her to come from so far away to serve perfect strangers."

Mother Marianne's good works began at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, a hospital she founded. Her childhood parish was St. Joseph's in Utica, where Sunday's special mass was held.

Part of the pilgrimage are people who still suffer from Hansen's Disease, an illness now almost eradicated. Father Richard Delos of St. Joseph's-St. Patrick's Church said, "The people with the Hansen's Disease are coming 5000 miles to the place where St. Marianne grew up, received her vocation, and her parish, as if to say they are grateful to her for what she did in terms of volunteering in Hawaii to take care of them when nobody else wanted to."

Marianne Cope will officially be canonized a saint next Sunday, October 21 in Vatican City.

What's On