A Visit to St. Joseph’s

A trip to the Saint Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum in Syracuse inspired this poem.

Poem by Maryann Vaderpool-Imundo, a poet of Clinton, NY.

Photo by Sue Smith Romero taken at the Mother Marianne Cope Shrine on Schuyler Street in Utica.

Mother Marianne Cope grew up in a German immigrant family in Utica and worked in a factory helping to support her family until she joined the Sisters of St. Francis of Syracuse in 1862. She was instrumental in founding two local hospitals, St. Elizabeth's in Utica and St. Joseph's in Syracuse. In 1883 she and a small group of sisters moved to Hawaii to care for people devastated by a leprosy epidemic. She died there at the age of 80 in 1918.

From the Poet

After visiting the St. Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum at St Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, I was so inspired that I wrote this poem.

St Marianne’s peaceful presence can be felt there among all of her personal relics. Two of the most interesting are an engagement ring from the Prime Minister of Hawaii, Walter Gibson, and an original poem written by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Prime Minister Gibson’s proposal was declined but he remained a good friend to St. Marianne and continued to provide the Island of Kalaupapa with whatever she needed on the secluded leper colony.

Robert Louis Stevenson’s gift to the children, a croquet set, is also on display at the museum.

A Visit To St. Joseph’s

Beloved Mother

Hospitals hope

Outcast’s paradise

St Marianne Cope



Your presence,

A timeline...




Notes tell us

Of courage,




Faith filled,




Contagious compassion

A pioneer

A champion, of

Hanson’s ironic divine disease


At peace with leprosy

Feminine Franciscan

Music, fruit, lace

Teacher, leader

Sew, plant, grace

Nature nursing neuropathy with

Flowers, trees,

The Rosary

Cleansed, infection

Music, dignity

Create, control, croquet,


Beauty, believe,

Sing, embroidery

Scared, orphaned,

Feared to touch

Comfort filled

Heartaches cup

Museum heal

Admire, habits, halo

Queen, natives,

Poet’s hero

Vows, valor,

Duty, ring

Kahilis reliquary

Hawaii is blest

Reverence remembered

Her eternal rest


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