St. Frances Xavier Cabrini gave herself completely...
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (November 13, 2019): WIS 6:1-11; PS 82:3-4,6-7; LK 17:11-19
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today we celebrate the feast day of the first naturalized citizen of the United States: St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.
Born in 1850 in what is now the Lombardy region of Italy, she hoped to join a religious teaching order, but her frail health prevented her from doing that. Instead, she ran a home for orphaned girls. In time, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, taking vows along with several other women. She originally intended that her order would serve in China, but the Pope suggested that she turn her attention to the west and help the numerous immigrants going to America. St. Frances arrived in New York in 1889. Despite many setbacks, she and her Sisters opened schools, orphanages and hospitals. They established dozens of institutions to assist the poor, particularly immigrants, in a number of states, as well as in South American and Europe.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini certainly lived out the words of the Psalm for today: “Defend the lowly and the fatherless; render justice to the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the lowly and the poor; from the hand of the wicked deliver them” (Psalm 82:3-4). Recognized for her courage and intelligence, as well as exceptional organizational skills, she spent her days helping the most vulnerable with both their material and spiritual needs. She died in Chicago in 1917 and was canonized in 1946. She is patron of immigrants, a role as important now as it has ever been.