Remains of St. Marianne Cope to move from Syracuse to Hawaii

St. Marianne Cope

The remains of St. Marianne will be moved out of Central New York when a group of local nuns move from Syracuse to the suburbs next year.

The Sisters of St. Francis announced Thursday morning that St. Marianne Cope's remains, which have been kept in a shrine at the Franciscan Mother House on Grant Street, will be moved to Hawaii as a result of the sisters' move to a new convent in Salina. CNY Central first reported in November that the nuns will move to a new "Franciscan Villa", which is under construction off of Buckley Road.

The sisters said Thursday that a relic of St. Marianne will be displayed at a new museum and shrine to be built at St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse. St. Marianne and four other Sisters of St. Francis helped found the hospital in 1869.

St. Marianne, who was born in Germany but grew up in Utica, left Syracuse in 1883 and worked in Hawaii with those suffering from leprosy. She was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2012. "That's the gift that she brings to the world we don't want it to just stay here in CNY we want it to be spreadout with the world. I think that is the point of a saint of the cannonization. She is a worldwide gift to all," said Sister Roberta Smith.

The sisters say the 117-year-old Franciscan Mother House no longer meets the needs of its 96 residents, and will cost too much to repair and maintain. The convent chapel, which currently houses St. Marianne's remains, wil be closed when the sisters move to Salina.

Franciscan Villa is expected to be completed early next year. It is owned by the Hearth Companies, who operate other senior complexes in the area. It will be occupied entirely by nuns at first, but in the future may have openings for additional seniors.