Nuns: Prayers to Marianne, Hawaii soil cured woman

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER | December 20, 2011 | 4:30 PM EST

HONOLULU (AP) — The second miracle in allowing a nun to soon become St. Marianne Cope involves the healing of a New York woman who had an infection that was destroying her organs.

Details on the miracle were revealed for the first time Tuesday by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in Syracuse, N.Y. They say a bag of soil containing Marianne's bone fragments from the Hawaii peninsula where leprosy patients were exiled was pinned to Sharon Smith's hospital gown. She was cured after months of prayer to Marianne.

Marianne cared for leprosy patients at the Kalaupapa settlement in the 1880s. She died in 1918 and was buried there. To achieve sainthood the Vatican needed to authenticate two miracles that were a result of her intercession.

Canonization is expected next year.