Tuesday, November 13, 2007

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

"We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone." Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

Even as a young girl, Mary Frances (1850-1917) was inspired by St. Francis Xavier and desired to become a missionary, even when other people told her that she was too weak and small. She was trained to be a teacher, but always felt that she was being called to religious life. She attempted to join several orders, but to her disappointment, she was often turned down because of her poor health. After many years of praying, she received a letter from a priest asking her to be in charge of an orphanage that wasn't doing so well. With an uncertain yes, she did her best to keep the orphanage running smoothly. It wasn't easy, but at least she was able to achieve a goal she had so long desired. She was finally able to become a religious! She made her vows with seven other women who were her students before. Not long after, the bishop asked her to found a missionary community. Although the orphanage did close (she worked there for about 6 years) she was also able to become a missionary!

The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The name of the community itself made her excited to finally do what she had always wanted to do, despite the discouragements that she received when she was much younger. She was also asked to be it's superior, but it was something Frances wasn't hesitant to do. Perhaps we would go to China, like St. Francis Xavier! She thought. She was still looking forward to being like the saint she always looked up to. Although she kept her hopes high, she wasn't asked to go to China. Instead, she was asked by the Holy Father himself to go to America. "You must not go to the East, but to the West." The pontiff told her, and Frances obeyed. They landed in New York, and started out with a school. Next, the orphanage. After four months, there were about 400 orphans there!

She and her sisters continued to run the school, orphanage, novitiate, and soon traveled to Italy and South America. She always had this motto from St. Paul. "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me."
She was the first American citizen to become canonized a saint. She was beatified on the 13th of November 1938, and canonized on the 7th of July 1946, by Pope Pius XII

Prayer to St. Frances Cabrini
How much there can be in a name is most clearly show in you who were called Frances Xavier, thus expressing your wonderful missionary spirit. An emigrant to the United States from Lombardi in Italy, you took care of immigrants. You founded the Missionary Sisters and became the first American citizen to be canonized a Saint. Make us dedicated servants of God like yourself and care for the immigrants who need your help. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that is good