Mother Marianne Cope (in the wheelchair) only a few days before she died in 1918. (Walter Murray Gibson, Public Domain/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Mother Marianne Cope, depicted in this 1883 photo, was a Franciscan nun of the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis. She was born in Heppenheim, Germany, and entered religious life in Syracuse, New York. She worked, lived and died for the lepers on the island of Moloka’i in Hawai’i. (Public Domain/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Jan. 23

Barbara Koob was born in Germany and moved to the United States with her family when she was 2. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in Syracuse, New York, serving for 20 years as a teacher and hospital administrator.

In 1883 she traveled with six sisters to Hawai’i to minister to people with Hansen’s disease, then known as leprosy. In 1888, they opened a home on Molokai for women and girls with the disease and continued the work of St. Damien de Veuster after his death.

Mother Marianne died Aug. 9, 1918 on Molokai; her feast is her birthday. At her canonization in 2012, Pope Benedict XVI called her “a shining example of the tradition of Catholic nursing sisters and of the spirit of her beloved St. Francis.” She is a patroness of lepers, outcasts, those with HIV/AIDS and Hawai’i.

Mother Marianne Cope and Sister Leopoldina Burns beside the funeral bier of Father Damien on Monday April 15, 1889, the day of his death. (Dr. Sydney B. Swift, Public Domain/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)