ROME (WSYR-TV) - With a crowd of 150,000 , Mother Marianne Cope and Kateri Tekakwitha were canonized by Pope Benedict at the Vatican Sunday morning.
NewsChannel 9's Dan Cummings was in that crowd and describes an emotional ceremony as supporters of both women with Upstate New York ties cheered and held signs. A pilgrimage of hundreds made the trip from Hawaii and Syracuse.
Saint Marianne grew up in Utica, and became a Sister of Saint Francis in Syracuse in the mid-1800's. She was the principal founder of St. Joseph's Hospital and spent the last 35 years of her life caring for dying lepers on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai.
Two miracle medical recoveries during the last two decades in Onondaga County have been attributed to Mother Marianne's intercession.
Saint Kateri will be the first ever Native American saint. She was a 17th century Mohawk, born near present-day Albany, who embraced Catholicism in the face of stiff persecution from her own people, and died at the age of 24. Ever since, countless healings and other small miracles have been attributed to Kateri by believers.
Native Americans and others have been petitioning and praying for her canonization since 1880.
Marianne, the Beloved Mother of Outcasts, and Kateri, the Lily of the Mohawks, are only the 11th and 12th Americans to be canonized as saints in the history of the Catholic Church.
You can watch the canonization ceremony Sunday on our digital channel 9.2 at 9 a.m.
Later, look for Dan Cummings' reports on NewsChannel 9 at 6 and 11.