‘‘At a time when little could be done for those suffering from this terrible disease, Marianne Cope showed the highest love, courage and enthusiasm,’’ Benedict said in his homily. ‘‘She is a shining and energetic example of the best of the tradition of Catholic nursing sisters and of the spirit of her beloved St. Francis.’’
Two-hundred fifty pilgrims from Hawaii traveled to Rome for Mother Marianne’s canonization, including nine Kalaupapa patients, as well as faithful from the local diocese.
‘‘Marianne Cope means a great deal to us,’’ said pilgrim Aida Javier, who traveled from Honolulu with her husband Romy for the Mass. ‘‘My husband and I feel blessed and honored to be part of this canonization.’’
Another pilgrim was Sharon Smith, of Syracuse, New York, whose 2005 cure from complications from pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, was declared medically inexplicable by the Vatican — the ‘‘miracle’’ needed for Mother Marianne to be named a saint. In an interview last week, Smith recounted how she had fainted one day in her home, an allergic reaction to medication she was taking for a kidney transplant, and awoke in the hospital to find that doctors weren’t giving her much time to live.
Her disease was eating away at her insides, causing her stomach to detach from her intestines. Doctors said they couldn’t repair it. At a certain point, a nun pinned a bag of ashes and dirt from Mother Marianne’s grave on her and prayed.
‘‘I had never heard of her, but we continued to pray,’’ Smith said. ‘‘And I just, I started getting better.’’
‘‘I believe in miracles, but I don’t know whether it was all the prayers, or the pinning of the relic, but I know that something worked, and I'm here for some reason,’’ Smith said.
The Vatican’s complicated saint-making procedure requires that the Vatican certify a ‘‘miracle’’ was performed through the intercession of the candidate — a medically inexplicable cure that can be directly linked to the prayers offered by the faithful. One miracle is needed for beatification, a second for canonization.
The Philippines’ second saint, Calungsod, was a Filipino teenager who helped Jesuit priests convert natives in Guam in the 17th century but was killed by spear-wielding villagers opposed to the missionaries’ efforts to baptize their children.
‘‘We are especially proud because he is so young,’’ said Marianna Dieza, a 39-year-old housekeeper working in Rome who was on hand for the Mass.
The other new saints are: Jacques Berthieu, a 19th century French Jesuit who was killed by rebels in Madagascar, where he had worked as a missionary; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian who founded a religious order in 1900 and established a Catholic printing and publishing house in his native Brescia; Carmen Salles y Barangueras, a Spanish nun who founded a religious order to educate children in 1892; and Anna Schaeffer, a 19th century German lay woman who became a model for the sick and suffering after she fell into a boiler and badly burned her legs. The wounds never healed, causing her constant pain.
Daniela Petroff contributed.
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