Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Saints for Today: Frances Xavier Cabrini, Religious (1850-1917)

Must Read

CC067: Meeting the Pope Face to Face

The bishop visits the "threshold" of the Apostles, and the Pope as the successor of St. Peter.

“San Jose de la Laguna”: A History of the Church at Laguna Pueblo

SAN JOSE MISSION - OLD LAGUNA, NEW MEXICO High on a hill overlooking the village of Laguna sits the beautiful...

“Ojo de Gallo”: A Nostalgic Narrative of San Rafael

This “nostalgic narrative of historic San Rafael” by Josephine Barela is being published posthumously by her friends, Margaret and...
Dr. Jean Lee
Jean M. Lee, M.A., D.Min., is a licensed behavioral health and substance abuse counselor, founding a nonprofit, state-licensed behavior health counseling agency and Christian gift/book store. Volunteer work includes: Jail ministry, Legion of Mary membership, door-to-door evangelization, and writing a weekly newspaper column titled “Faith and Inspiration: Encyclopedia of Saints for Today.” A Catholic revert after 32 years away from the Church, she is devout in the Catholic faith, loves the saints, and lives a deeper spiritual/religious and more joyful life since returning to the Church.

Feast Day: November 13

Francis Cabrini was born in 1850 in Lombardy, Italy. Longing to become a nun near her own birthplace, but turned down twice because she was not considered sufficiently healthy, God used her instead as an extraordinary missionary sister.

Frances’s first step was to start her own novitiate in Italy for women serving in corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Part of her strategy was to take as novices women who, like herself, had been rejected by other Religious Orders. She attracted women like a magnet, and her community grew rapidly. She was affectionate but firm, practical but motivated by an eternal purpose.

Pope Leo XIII was so impressed by her zeal and her organizational skills that he decided she might be the solution for a growing problem. Italians were immigrating in droves to the United States. Once arrived, not speaking any English, they were not able to understand the German or Irish priests in their parishes, and their children were starved for religious education. The Pope decided to send Frances with seven of her nuns to a parish in New York City to minister to this need.

Although terrified by the ocean, Frances agreed. Imagine her surprise when she arrived in New York City only to learn that the priest who had asked for them had no means for their support. He wanted them to return on the next ship! Undaunted, as ever, Frances simply went begging in the streets in the Italian quarter until she could open a house for her Sisters, called the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The number of apostolic projects she undertook in the United States and around the world mounted up to sixty-seven by the time of her death.

Frances Cabrini’s heart finally gave out in Chicago – she collapsed while wrapping Christmas presents at an orphanage. She died the following day and is buried in New York.

Mother Cabrini was the first United States citizen canonized. She is the Universal Patron Saint of Immigrants. Members of her Religious Order are also known as the Cabrini Sisters and continue to work on six continents.

“I have the strength for everything through Him who strengthens me.”—Philippians 4:13 (motto of Frances Cabrini)

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Chervin, Ronda. “Treasury of Women Saints.” Cincinnati: Servant, an imprint of Franciscan Media, 2015.
Gallick, Sarah. “The Big Book of Women Saints.” New York, NY: HarperOne, 2007.
Ghezzi, Bert. “Voices of the Saints.” Chicago: Loyola Press, 2000.

Comments

comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

audio

Podcast: Make This Lenten Season the Most Fruitful One Yet!

How to make this your most prayerful Lent ever, whether you're just now kickstarting your prayer life or have a solid spiritual life already.

Advertisement

Other recent stories:

Diocese Releases Guidance for Preventing Spread of Illness, Coronavirus

The Diocese is now issuing several extra measures and requests with the advent of COVID-19.
audio

CC067: Meeting the Pope Face to Face

The bishop visits the "threshold" of the Apostles, and the Pope as the successor of St. Peter.
video

INTO THE MYSTERY: Sacred Art

"The true apology of Christian faith...[is] the saints and the beauty that the faith has generated."

Diocese rolls out plans for new Sacred Heart Cathedral School buildings

The future plans for Sacred Heart School primarily include building a brand-new school on the parish grounds of Sacred Heart Cathedral and selling the current campus and buildings.

Advertisement

More Articles Like This

Comments

comments