I’ve written about her before as she is one of my BFF saints – St. Marianne Cope’s Vatican Biography It was easy to love her as I have both a husband and a son named for one of her BFF’s, St. Damien of Molokai.
I took too long to add her to our wreaths but her vocation and mission for God made her the perfect example of sympathy which didn’t show up until Wreath V. In reading any biography of St. Damien of Molokai, her name will appear, and the love she and her sisters had for the children, young girls and women of Molokai recognized.
Her presence was memorable enough that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote this of her and her sisters work during his 1889 visit to the island:
To see the infinite pity of this place,
The mangled limb, the devastated face,
The innocent sufferers smiling at the rod,
A fool were tempted to deny his God.
He sees, and shrinks; but if he look again,
Lo, beauty springing from the breast of pain!—
He marks the sisters on the painful shores,
And even a fool is silent and adores.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Kalawao, May 22, 1889
You can find out other aspects of her life and ministry here at the Sisters of St. Francis Neumann Communities site.
Remembering her work amongst the lepers might make it easier for us to be sympathetic for those suffering around us and try to lift their burdens and ease their pains: “I do not think of reward; I am working for God, and do so cheerfully.” (1902)
(photo is from the wikimedia.org page)