For the past few weeks, the warmth of Hawaii’s Aloha Spirit has traveled overseas from Molokai to New York and now to Rome. A group of Kalaupapa patients afflicted with Hansen’s disease made the 10,000-mile trek in honor of the beloved Mother Marianne Cope. It’s truly an inspirational story of how Hawaii shares Aloha abroad.

She and Father Damien de Veuster dedicated decades-worth of their time to caring for leprosy patients in Kalaupapa on Molokai. She now joins Father Damien as the second Catholic saint for Hawaii and will be officially elevated to sainthood in Rome Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012.

This rare trip outside of the leprosy settlement allowed the group of patients (along with hundreds of Hawaii residents) to trace the route Mother Marianne took when traveling from Syracuse, N.Y. to Honolulu in 1883. The local media has also been reporting from abroad with daily updates on the trip. You can watch a live broadcast of Sunday’s canonization on Hawaii News Now.

Along with the spirit of Aloha, the Hawaii travelers brought the Hawaiian culture and ways. Traditional hula, song, kukui nut lei and hearts filled with so much love pour through the images and video from abroad. Even New Yorkers tagged along to see Mother Marianne canonized. It’s neat to see the blend of cultures occur even thousands of miles from Hawaii and to witness the impact that Mother Marianne and Father Damien continue to have on Hawaii today.

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