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      Supporters arrive in the Vatican for canonization of Mother Marianne Cope

      Pilgrims from Syracuse are now walking the streets of Rome in anticipation of Sundayâ??s Canonization of Mother Marianne Cope.

      Bishop Robert Cunningham, the leader of the Diocese of Syracuse, touched down at da Vinci Airport just outside of Rome early Wednesday morning. By mid-morning he was joined by the rest of more than 200 who were part of his pilgrimage to the Vatican and Assisi.

      The Sisters of St. Francis and their group of 100 arrived the day before. They were off first thing Wednesday morning to a Papal Audience in St. Peterâ??s Square. Their sacred time will take them away from Rome on Thursday as they head to the hometown of St. Francis the founder of their order.

      St. Francis lived in Assisi in the early 13th century. He took a vow of poverty and service that his followers have continued ever since. While in Assisi the sisters will visit a Leprosaria where people with Hansenâ??s disease still live today. It is a home similar to the one in Molokai where Mother Marianne ministered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the Hawaiian Islands.

      In addition to the groups from Syracuse there is a contingent that came 8,000 miles from Hawaii to celebrate the Canonization of Marianne Cope. There are also hundreds of Mohawks, other Native Americans and others supporting Kateri Tekawitha as the first Native American saint in the Catholic Church.

      Our Matt Mulcahy is traveling with the pilgrims from Syracuse in Rome and the surrounding areas. He will continue to share their story on NBC 3, CBS 5, CW 6,, Facebook and Twitter right through the Canonization Sunday morning.