Hawaii, NY women to be formally recognized as saints in Vatican ceremony this weekend

Mother Marianne Cope was known in life for her strength and kindness, battling bureaucrats in Hawaii as she led a group of fellow nuns to care for leprosy patients in the islands.

The Vatican this weekend will declare her a saint as it formally recognizes what her supporters have long believed in their hearts: She is in heaven and that through her intercession, two people were miraculously cured of ailments that should have killed them.

The church will also canonize six others during Sunday's ceremony presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.

Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th-century Mohawk Indian who spent most of her life in what is now upstate New York, is one of them.