Born: July 15, 1850 in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Province of Lodi, Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia, Austrian Empire
Died: December 22, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, United States
Venerated: Roman Catholic Church
Beatified: November 13, 1938 by Pope Pius XI
Canonized: July 7, 1946 by Pope Pius XII
Feast Day: November 13
Patronages: Immigrants; Hospital Administrators
Francis Xavier Cabrini was born in Lombardy, Italy, in 1850, one of thirteen children. At eighteen, she desired to become a Sister but poor health stood in her way. She helped her parents until their death, and then worked on a farm with her brothers and sisters.
One day a priest asked her to teach in a girls' school and she stayed for six years. At the request of her Bishop, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. Then at the urging of Pope Leo XIII she came to the United States with six Sisters in 1889 to work among the Italian immigrants.
Filled with a deep trust in God and endowed with a wonderful administrative ability, this remarkable woman soon founded schools, hospitals, and orphanages in a strange land and saw them flourish in the aid of Italian immigrants and children. At the time of her death, in Chicago on December 22, 1917, her institute numbered houses in England, France, Spain , the United States, and South America. In 1946, she became the first American citizen to be canonized, when she was elevated to sainthood by Pope Pius XII.
PRAYER: God, through the work of Saint Frances Cabrini you brought comfort and love to the immigrants and those in need. May her example and work be continued in the lives of those dedicated to you. Amen.