It’s been a long time since Saint Marianne Cope established St. Joseph’s Hospital and then left in 1888 as part of a request she answered in 1883 to care for ill Leprosy patients in Hawaii. Her legacy will not be forgotten in Syracuse with a permanent shrine and museum in her honor. The official blessing was held today at the hospital. Sister Geraldine Ching is originally from Hawaii and assisted with gathering the historical journey of St. Marianne.
“So when Saint Marianne said that she would go to the islands to help the King and Queen in 1883, that was a huge step. Hawaii was not the tourist area that it is now… by no means. Certainly there were a lot of people that were really sick and the whole Kingdom was in an uproar because they didn’t quite to really do about it.”
Saint Marianne was better known as Mother Marianne before her confirmed Sainthood and also served as St. Joe's Hospital Administrator. Her caring spirit and actions are something that present Hospital Administrator Kathryn Ruscitto often reflects on.
“Saint Marianne, who insisted on people washing their hands in 1869… insisted that physicians treat patients regardless of their ability to pay or their mental status. Really they were pioneers and our institution has just benefited so much from what they’ve done.”
Ruscitto is also referring there to the nine sisters who ran the hospital over the years from 1869 through the early 1900's. The Shrine and Museum is located at 601 North Townsend Street in Syracuse and officially opens to the public on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.