St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Artist: 
Julie Lonneman

Artist's Narrative:
Frances Cabrini, the youngest of thirteen children, grew up on a farm in Italy. From her earliest days she wanted to become a missionary nun in China. Much to her disappointment, Frances was unable to join a religious order because of her poor health. A priest asked her to teach at an orphanage for girls, which she did for six years. She eventually took religious vows in 1877. When the orphanage closed in 1880, her bishop asked her to found the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals.

When Pope Leo XIII approved her order in 1887, Frances told him of her desire to work in China. He sent her in the opposite direction to the United States. Arriving in New York with six sisters in 1889, she worked among impoverished immigrants, especially Italians. The sisters' good work spread, and eventually, Mother Cabrini founded 67 schools, hospitals, and orphanages in the United States and other countries. Mother Cabrini, like many other immigrants, became a United States citizen, and was the first US citizen to be canonized.

Italy/United States, 1850-1917.

Her feast day is November 13.

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