Faithful recall new saint’s ‘intense love’

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St. Marianne Cope honored at Nov. 4 Mass   

John Franko
Staff Writer

Bishop David Zubik said St. Marianne Cope was able to meet the needs of lepers in Hawaii for 35 years because she was moved by the Holy Spirit within her.

It was a power that helped her to step outside of herself and embrace others with the face of Jesus Christ.

“What an intense love,” he said. “It was precisely that intense love that has captured the attention of the entire church.”

The bishop spoke of the loving example set by one of North America’s two new saints during a Nov. 4 Mass at the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities site in Millvale.

St. Marianne was firmly rooted in the Franciscan tradition of St. Francis and St. Clare.

Bishop Zubik pointed out that the new saint was recognized because she thought not of herself, but of the needs of others. Whether we realize it or not, he said, each one of us has the opportunity to become saints. We all experience the “yeast” of the Holy Spirit, calling us to walk outside ourselves and toward others.

“Sister Marianne Cope did so, and for always she is a saint,” he said. “May the same thing happen for each of us.”

Sister Jeanne Weisbeck, a general councilor for the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, based in Syracuse, N.Y., said St. Marianne set a powerful example because she was open to God’s invitation to reach out to others.

“Her life is really exemplary to us,” she said. “She was such a self-giving woman.”

Sister Jeanne added that the wonderful example of the new saint’s life has done much to bring her community even closer together.

The closing song, “Hymn to St. Marianne,” was composed by Sister of St. Francis Theresa Laureta.

A first-class relic of St. Marianne Cope was displayed for veneration throughout the day.

St. Marianne and St. Kateri Tekakwitha were among seven new saints canonized by Pope Benedict XVI during a canonization rite Oct. 21 in St. Peter’s Square. An estimated 80,000 pilgrims attended the Vatican ceremony.

Information and memorabilia on St. Marianne is available by visiting www.saintmariannecope.com.