Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Patron Saint of Immigrants

St Francis Xavier CabriniSt. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917)
Image:
St. Paul Street Evangelization

(CNA) Born in Italy Lombardy, Frances from a young age longed to be a missionary in China but God had other plans for her.

Orphaned as a child, Frances joined the ‘Sisters of the Sacred Heart’ taking the name ‘Xavier’ in honor of St. Francis Xavier the great missionary to Asia.

At the advice of Pope Leo XIII who told Frances, “Not to the East but to the West,” Frances refocused her attention on the United States, accepting an invitation from Archbishop Corrigan of New York

Frances would come to the U.S. and spent nearly 30 yrs, traveling back-and-forth across the Atlantic, overcoming her fear of the water according to American Catholic but never her fear of drowning. Frances would during her lifetime establish 67 institutions, these would include: Orphanages, Hospitals, Convents and Schools for the often marginalized Italian immigrants.

During Frances’ lifetime she would became a naturalized U.S. Citizen in 1909 — Less than decade later, Frances would pass away just three days before Christmas 1917 in Chicago — On this date in 1938 Frances was Beatified by Pope Pius XI and in 1946 was Canonized by Pope Pius XII and according to SQPN St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, became the first United States Citizen ever to be Canonized. 

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