About St. Frances Cabrini
Born two months premature to a large family in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, in the northern part of Italy, on July 15, 1850, Francesca Cabrini was in delicate health most of her life.
From an early age Francesca Cabrini was fascinated by missionaries who spoke of their experiences of spreading the Word of God in the East. Hearing these stories, she wanted to become a missionary but had been rejected by existing religious communities because of her poor health. However, a local bishop recognized her zeal and energy, and encouraged her to start her own religious community.
After founding the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she spent some years developing the order and expanding their missions throughout Italy. She founded several schools, orphanages and supervised a hospital in her home country.
It was Pope Leo XIII who said to Mother Cabrini, “Not to the East, but to the West.” In 1889, Mother Cabrini and six of her sisters embarked for America with 1,500 other immigrants bound for New York City.
They delivered basic education, health care and spiritual guidance to poor Italian communities across the United States.
In 1899, Mother Cabrini traveled to Chicago, where she founded and taught at Assumption School and later opened Columbus Hospital in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.
On Dec. 22, 1917, Mother Cabrini died at Columbus Hospital at age 67. In 1928, Cardinal George Mundelein verified two miracles attributed to her, and on July 7, 1946, Pope Pius XII proclaimed Mother Cabrini a saint, making her the first American citizen saint.
From the National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini’s website. For a more detailed biography, please visit: https://www.cabrininationalshrine.org/timeline-and-her-life-s-work