By Nicole Ossevoort, Diocesan Communications & Social Media Specialist

Those devoted to Syracuse’s very own saint, St. Marianne Cope, have been praying a special novenain commemoration of the anniversary of her death on August 9. The Saint Marianne Cope Shrine & Museum, located in Syracuse, invited faithful to join them in prayer: “A novena is made up of nine days of prayer and meditation and can be used to ask saints to pray for us. Each day’s prayer is spoken with an intention and we ask our saint to intercede and pass our prayer on to God whom we know they are with. In praying Saint Marianne’s novena on the event of her passing, we ask for special prayers for those who carry on her legacy of dignity, compassion and care for all.”

Each day of the novena highlighted a different local organization that serves the people, just like St. Marianne did. Highlighted groups included Francis House, Emmaus Ministry, and Franciscan Northside Ministries. The diocese featured the daily prayer on their Facebook page. Bishop Cunningham offered a special invitation to faithful in the diocese, asking them to “celebrate the life of Mother Marianne Cope.”

Bishop Cunningham said that, in praying the novena, people across the diocese recognize the many gifts that St. Marianne left the Church. He also said that the organizations highlighted on each day of the novena do work that is a “mirror image” of what St. Marianne would be doing if she was alive today.

St. Marianne Cope, a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, was canonized on October 21, 2012. She was the very first Franciscan woman from the Americas to become a saint, and only the eleventh American saint. She was a pioneer of healthcare in the Central New York area before moving to Hawaii to care for those with Hansen’s Disease. St. Marianne cared for the most marginalized on Kalaupapa, Molokai until her death in 1919. Her feast day is celebrated on January 23.

The Saint Marianne Shrine and Museum is an incredible place to spend an afternoon – and Bishop Cunningham recommended it as a wonderful summer pilgrimage.

Be sure to visit the Sun’s Facebook page on August 9 for a look back at our coverage of all things St. Marianne throughout the years.

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