There are more than 10,000 saints in the Roman Catholic church from all over the world. And next month, one more will be canonized. But, this saint is special for Central New York, as Mother Marianne Cope grew up in West Utica. Cara Thomas has more.
UTICA, N.Y. -- Mother Marianne Cope was a sister of St. Francis in Syracuse, who is continuing to inspire and change lives long after her death in 1918.
A distant relative of Mother Marianne, Barbara Ames says, "She had nothing and an eighth grade education. And what she accomplished was just mind blowing."
Mother Marianne helped establish two hospitals, including St. Elizabeth's in Utica and St. Joseph's in Syracuse, assisting everyone no matter their race. She also willingly traveled to Hawaii where she took care of those with leprosy.
Sister Grace Dillenschneider, Vice Postulator for the Cause of Mother Marianne Cope, says, "She made an tremendous sacrifice in going to Kalaupapa. She spent 30 years in virtual exile with the people there, because once you went there, you didn't return."
But religious leaders say all of these sacrifices and achievements were not done to glorify herself, but to glorify God. And that is what makes Saint Marianne Cope, a saint and "the mother of outcasts."
"She once said, I ask for no reward here. I'd like just a small corner of heaven where I can worship my God for all eternity," says Sister Dillenschneider.
But what makes this canonization so special for Central New York, was that Saint Marianne Cope grew up in Utica.
Father Richard Dellos of the St. Joseph and St. Patrick Church says, "We have to see about memorializing this place to make it a place where we can remember Saint Marianne."
But first, members of St. Joseph's and St. Patrick's church will be heading to the Vatican for an opportunity that could only come once in a lifetime.
"It probably would be one in a million of priests that would have somebody in their church proclaimed a saint for the universal church," says Father Dellos.
"It is just such a blessing for this city, for this diocese and just such a great honor for all of us. God has truly blessed us," says Sister Dillenschneider.
The Canonization will take place on October 21, and many people from the Central New York area will be attending.