Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

Feast Day: December 22

[Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini]

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini


Francesca Saverio Cabrini was born in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano on 15 July 1850. Even from her early years she adopted a way of life that centered on God. At the age of thirteen she vowed her virginity to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. She twice attempted to enter the religious life, but because of her delicate health her petitions were not accepted. In 1868 she taught school at Lodi and 9 years later she became a nun. The bishop of Lodi, Msgr. Dominic Gelmini, put her in charge of an orphanage. He also urged her to found a new religious missionary congregation. Accordingly, when she was thirty years old she instituted the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart at the chapel of our Lady of Grace in Codogno. In doubt as to which direction to go, she accepted as God's will the directions of Pope Leo XIII to sail westward to the Americas, and have since opened convents in the Dioceses of Brooklyn, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Newark, Scranton, and Seattle.

    In 1909 she was given American citizenship. At the beginning of 1911 the institute had in the United States: 253 sisters; 11 schools with 4850 pupils; 6 orphanages with 713 orphans; 2 hospitals with about 3520 patients annually; and 1 dispensary where 21,630 persons were treated during the preceding years.

     She died in Chicago on 22 December 1917 at the same Columbus Hospital she had founded. On 13 November 1938 she was declared blessed by Pope Pius XI; she was made Saint on 7 July 1946 by Pope Pius XII. In 1950 this same Pope declared her Patron of the Emigrants. She is the first Saint of the USA.

Prayer to Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

How much there can be in a name is most clerly show in you who were called Frances Xavier, thus expressing your wonderful missionary spirit. An emigrant to the United States from Lombardi in Italy, you took care of immigrants. You founded the Missionary Sisters and became the first American citizen to be canonized a Saint. Make us dedicated servants of God like youself and care for the immigrants who need your help. Amen.

Prayer II

O God, through the work of Saint Frances Cabrini You brought comfort and love to the immigrants and those in need. Mary her example and work be continued in the lives of those dedicated to You. Amen.