Saint Marianne is home.
A special ceremony was held Thursday as the remains of the beloved saint were brought to the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace.
The remains, which were unearthed from her Kalaupapa resting place in 2005 and enshrined in Syracuse, N.Y., in preparation for her beatification that year, has now returned to the islands to reside permanently in Honolulu.
A Hawaiian chant welcome the remains of a saint who meant so much to Native Hawaiians.
“St. Francis School is part of her legacy, the health care system is part of her legacy, the Sisters at Saint Francis. This is what we teach the children at St. Francis School that if it wasn’t for this one person, this one woman, St. Francis, we wouldn’t exist,” said Sister Joan of Arc Souza of Order of Saint Francis.
Making Thursday’s ceremony even more special, a great, great niece of Saint Marianne was in attendance.
“This one was extra, extra special to me,” said Meg Burnett. ‘She’s home. She’s home and that’s all I care about. She is home where she belongs.”
There was some debate as to where Saint Marianne’s final resting place should be. She was originally from Syracuse, but the Sisters of Saint Francis said this is home.
“I never wanted her to leave. My thought was is she wanted to go back to New York, she would have done that, but she didn’t, she chose Hawaii. So it is so good to have her home,” said Sister Joan.
It’s important to note that a relic, bones from both Saint Marianne and Saint Damien, remain on Molokai, where they go so much their service.
A number of Kalaupapa residents gathered there Thursday to honor Saint Marianne.
Now folks can visit Saint Marianne’s remains and hopefully be inspired by the life she led.
“I try and follow in her footsteps,” said Burnett. “I’ve done an awful lot of volunteer work that I couldn’t have done without her inspiration. She has been an inspiration to me, and I just love the idea of it.”