EWTN News

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
November 07, 2018
by Staff
Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini

 

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini was born on July 15, 1850, in Italy. She first attempted to enter the religious life when she was 20 but, due to her frail health, was denied entrance. In 1880, together with six other women, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, whose mission is to serve the poor, the vulnerable and those on the margins of society. She wrote the order’s rules and was its mother superior until death. The good works of the Missionary Sisters in Italy brought Mother Cabrini to the attention of Pope Leo XIII, who gave her permission to go with her nuns to the United States, to minister to its Italian immigrants. Throughout her life, Mother Cabrini found disappointments and difficulties: she was refused admission to a religious order due to poor health; when she arrived in New York, the house intended to be her first orphanage in the United States was not available and the archbishop advised her to return to Italy (she persevered and was allowed to stay); from an early age, she was burdened with a great fear of drowning, yet, despite this fear, she traveled across the Atlantic Ocean more than 30 times. Her deep trust in the loving care of God gave her the strength to overcome all these difficulties in her work for the Catholic Church. In 35 years, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. She died of malaria in her own Columbus Hospital, in Chicago, in 1917.