St Damien collaborator’s relic returns to Hawaii
The relic of Blessed Marianne Cope was set to stop in Molokai, Maui, Lanai, Kauai and the Big Island before going on permanent display in a Honolulu cathedral.
Bishop Larry Silva of the Diocese of Honolulu requested the relic — bone fragments from Mother Marianne’s remains — from the Sisters of Saint Francis in Syracuse, N.Y.
Sister Patricia Burkard, general minister of the Sisters of Saint Francis, is to bring the bone fragments, which were checked for authenticity by a forensic anthropologist, to Hawaii on Wednesday.
Mother Marianne cared for Hansen’s disease patients at the Kalaupapa settlement on Molokai in 1888, five months after the death of Father Damien, who gained sainthood in 2009.
She died on Kalaupapa in 1918 of natural causes and was buried there. In 2004, Pope John Paul II declared her “venerable,” the first step toward canonization.
The small mahogany box that holds the relic is etched with plumeria flowers. The reliquary is to be displayed in a koa wood case in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in downtown Honolulu.
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