Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekakwitha canonized as saints

By ANDREW DONOVAN

VATICAN CITY (WKTV) - Mother Marianne Cope, who grew up in West Utica, and Kateri Tekakwitha, who grew up in the Mohawk Valley, have both been canonized as saints.

Pope Benedict XIV held a canonization mass in St. Peter's Square Sunday morning. Six others were canonized.

Saint Marianne Cope dedicated her entire life to serving others and was the founder of St. Elizabeth Medical Center, the first hospital in the Mohawk Valley.

Many local people have been anticipating Mother Marianne Cope's honor this weekend, having followed in her ways of caring for the sick and those in need.

"It's a thrill, not every day do we have our own saint," said Bob Scholefield, Chief Operating Officer at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. "She started the medical center which provided an opportunity for those without the resources to receive healthcare and the sisters did it on their own."

He says since 1866 the St.Elizabeth Medical Center has continued to carry on the local sister's devotion to caring for the sick and helping those in need, a legacy that wasn't just see in healthcare, but her everyday life.

Known as Lily of the Mohawks or the Pocahontas of the Catholic Church, Kateri Tekakwitha became the first Native American saint.

She was born between Utica and Albany, in the Mohawks village of Ossernion, known today as Ausierville.

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