Mother Marianne was born in Germany in 1838, but grew up in New York. As a young woman, she became a Franciscan nun and a teacher in a school for German immigrants. Later she helped establish a public hospital in Syracuse, NY and worked as its Superior General for several years.
In 1883, Marianne and six Sisters enthusiastically moved to Hawaii to serve a leper colony there. Over her years in Hawaii, she established a new hospital, a home for the daughters of lepers, and a girls’ school. After 35 years nursing those with leprosy and caring for their children, she never contracted the disease herself, but died of natural causes at the age of 80.
The Catholic church plans to canonize Mother Marianne as a saint in October 2012.
‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’