St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Saint Frances Cabrini Statue

Frances Cabrini was born in 1850 in a small village called Sant’Angelo Lodigiano near the city of Milan, Italy. At eighteen, she desired to become a nun, but was not permitted to join the Daughters of the Sacred Heart due to her poor health. 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 Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. Mother Cabrini had longed desired to be a missionary to China, but at the urging of Pope Leo XIII she traveled west to the United States with six nuns in 1889 to work among the Italian immigrants. She became an official US citizen in 1909. Much of her work was done in Chicago and Denver.

“I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love
of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him.”

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Filled with a deep trust in God and endowed with a wonderful administrative ability, this remarkable woman soon founded 67 schools, hospitals, and orphanages and saw them flourish in the aid of Italian immigrants and children. At the time of her death, in Chicago, Illinois 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. St. Frances is the patroness of immigrants.

One of the reasons for the parish changing its name from St. Philomena’s to St. Frances Cabrini is the real possibility that Frances Cabrini would pray here at the parish during her train stops between Chicago and Denver. She mentions that she would leave the train station and walk up the hill to a local Catholic Church to pray until her train was scheduled to leave.

Father Damian Zuerlein

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini