Blessed Marianne Cope, tireless servant of the Lord, who ministered to the forgotten and downtrodden lepers of Hawai’i for over 30 years of her life. Blessed Marianne, who wished for nothing more than a life of ordinary service, reminds us of the importance of placing the call of the Lord before all else, and finding Jesus in everyone we encounter. Blessed Mother Marianne, pray for us!
For my 2010 post on Blessed Marianne, click on the “rear view mirror” to the left.
“We bring no gift to Your Majesty except our service in behalf of your suffering people, whose infirmity we bear in our hearts."
“Let us make the very best use of the precious moments and do all in our power for His dear sake and for His greater honor and glory."
“I do not think of reward; I am working for God, and do so cheerfully."
“God giveth life; He will take it away in His own good time. Meanwhile it is our duty to make life as pleasant and as comfortable as possible for those of our fellow-creatures whom He has chosen to afflict."
“What little good we can do in this world to help and comfort the suffering, we wish to do it quietly and so far as possible unnoticed and unknown."
“Our dear heavenly Mother Mary…how little do our trials and sorrows appear when compared to her bitter sufferings."
“Creep down into the heart of Jesus. He alone can comfort you in your supreme hour of sorrow."
The life of Bl. Marianne Cope is a wonderful work of divine grace. She demonstrated the beauty of the life of a true Franciscan. The encounter of Mother Marianne with those suffering from leprosy took place when she was far along on her journey to Christ. For 20 years she had been a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Third Order of St Francis of Syracuse in New York. She was already a woman of vast experience and was spiritually mature. But suddenly God called her to a more radical giving, to a more difficult missionary service.
Bl. Marianne, who was Provincial Superior at the time, heard the voice of Christ in the invitation of the Bishop of Honolulu. He was looking for Sisters to assist those suffering from leprosy on the Island of Molokai. Like Isaiah, she did not hesitate to answer: "Here I am. Send me!" (Is 6: 8). She left everything, and abandoned herself completely to the will of God, to the call of the Church and to the demands of her new brothers and sisters. She put her own health and life at risk.
For 35 years she lived, to the full, the command to love God and neighbour. She willingly worked with Bl. Damian de Veuster, who was at the end of his extraordinary apostolate. Bl. Marianne loved those suffering from leprosy more than she loved her very self. She served them, educated them and guided them with wisdom, love and strength. She saw in them the suffering face of Jesus.
Like the Good Samaritan, she became their mother. She drew strength from her faith, the Eucharist, her devotion to our Blessed Mother, and from prayer. She did not seek earthly honours or approval. She wrote: "I do not expect a high place in heaven. I will be very grateful to have a little corner where I can love God for all eternity".
"Rivers of living water will gush forth from the heart" of the one who believes in Christ. The signs of his presence are summarized in the Letter to the Galatians: They are: "love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness and chastity" (5: 22).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."