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.