St. Marianne Cope: A Pioneer


Kristen Barratt-Anderson, Director

St. Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum

A Pioneer in Palliative Care

St. Marianne Cope, formerly Barbara Koob (1838 - 1918) also known as St. Marianne of Molokai - was born in Germany and raised in Utica, NY. She was a member of the Sisters of St. Francis and one of the founding leaders of two hospitals in New York State (St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica). In 1883, as the Superior General of her religious congregation, she responded to a letter from the King of what was then called the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) to minister to people with the serious illness Hansen's disease (leprosy). When she and the sisters arrived, they found people placed in a filthy compound with open sores and disfigurements. She provided health care along with healing for mind, body, and spirit by creating a community that supported the individual with dignity and respect, thus improving the quality of life for her patients. The care that St. Marianne provided her patients is exemplary of what we now know as palliative care.

Please check out the Mother Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum website for more information.