The family of Barbara Koob — St. Marianne’s birth name — emigrated from Germany for America the year after her birth in 1838, and the immigrant family’s name became Cope. Although she felt called to religious life, Cope began factory work after eighth grade to help her family’s finances when her father became ill. When her father died in 1862, Cope could finally profess vows with the Franciscan Sisters in Syracuse. The newly named Sister Marianne soon began service in German immigrant schools. Her leadership skills were apparent early on, which led her to establishing hospitals in central New York State and a tenure as administrator of St. Joseph Hospital in Syracuse. Cope’s intelligence and interpersonal abilities were apparent, and all who knew her were aware that God was her sole inspiration. She became provincial in 1877.
Read more about her life here, then watch the video to learn a little about her childhood.