Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
Our ministry is inspired by Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. We ask her guidance in helping us
defend, love and evangelize the Catholic Faith.
Sr. Francesca Xavier Cabrini (1850 - 1917) was canonized in 1946. It takes a long time to become a saint — unless you’re Frances Cabrini, the woman who became the first American saint. When it came to Cabrini, Pope Pius XI decided that, after her death in 1917, the canonization process could begin early.
What made her so special? It wasn’t just a matter of her claim to the requisite miracles. Here’s how TIME described it upon her canonization:
On March 31, 1889, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, a tiny, frail nun, daughter of a Lombard farmer, arrived in New York with six members of the order she had formed, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pope Leo XIII had sent her to work among the Italian immigrants who were finding neither a welcome nor prosperity in the New World, and worse, in the eyes of the Church, were losing their faith and piety.
Mother Cabrini and her six set to work in the New York slums. To support their first orphanage they begged their way through the squalor of Little Italy, later managed to set up a tiny, ill-equipped hospital for the Italian poor. Though funds came mostly in small change, Mother Cabrini‘s masterful will again & again overcame obstacles that seemed insuperable. For the next 28 years she traveled indefatigably, setting up schools, hospitals, orphanages and novitiates in Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver and other U.S. cities.
Her shrewdness in acquiring property for these institutions and raising funds to pay for it made her seem to many a sharp businessman a kind of saintly Hetty Green. And she was as tough as she was canny.
When a group of Chicago contractors tried to get the better of the sisters in remodeling a hotel into a hospital, the little Italian nun fired them out of hand, tucked up her habit, and stumped about the scaffoldings for weeks directing the laborers herself. She was an American after America’s heart, and in 1909, in her 59th year, she became a U.S. citizen.
Under her care, 67 religious houses, schools, and charitable institutions such as orphanages and hospitals were established throughout the United States, Italy, England and even in Central and South America from 1880 until her death in 1917.
Mother Cabrini made such an impact that she became the first American citizen to become a saint! (Although she was born in Italy, she was naturalized in 1909.)
O Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, who found in the Divine Heart of Jesus the secret of sanctity and the strength to carry His message to many nations, look kindly upon me and hear my prayer.
Inspired by Christ's charity, you went about helping many in their spiritual and temporal needs; from the glory of Heaven, where your charity is not lessened nor your power weakened, grant our petition and obtain for me the grace we so urgently desire. (Help us to learn, love, defend and evangelize our Catholic Faith)
From the Sacred Heart of Jesus obtain that His Kingdom may be established in this world, now divided by hatred and dissensions; secure peace among nations, conversion of the sinners, health to the sick, alleviation for the victims of war, deliverance of the souls in Purgatory, salvation for the human race redeemed by Christ Our Savior. Amen.