During the month of July, the Cabrinian Community observes two very special occasions. On July 7th, we mark the anniversary of the canonization of Mother Cabrini who in 1946 became the first American citizen to be declared a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. On July 15th we celebrate Mother Cabrini’s 167th birthday.
In the book, “Immigrant Saint” The Life of Mother Cabrini” by Pietro Di Donato, he writes of the canonization day, “On July 7, 1946, [the Basilica of] St. Peter’s wore a holiday appearance. Its venerable and imposing pillars were decked with magnificent ancient damask hangings. Countless electric lights and candles were grouped around the pontifical altar…paintings depicting Mother Cabrini hung from the balconies. The activities in the Vatican began just after seven in the morning, when the Cardinals, patriarchs, Archbishops and other dignitaries who were to participate in the canonization began to arrive at the Sistine Chapel. Pope Pius XII entered the Sistine Chapel and intoned the Ave Maris Stella.
“The Pope made the following solemn declaration in Latin: “…we inscribe in the Catalogue of the Saints, the blessed Francesca Xavier Cabrini, ordaining that her memory be celebrated in the universal church on the Day of December 22, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.’”
In his homily the Pope said of Mother Cabrini, “Although her constitution was very frail, her spirit was endowed with such singular strength that, knowing the will of God in her regard, she permitted nothing to impede her from accomplishing what seemed to be beyond the strength of a woman.” ~excerpt from “Immigrant Saint” The Life of Mother Cabrini by Pietro Di Donato
“Religious leader, business administrator and spokesperson for the downtrodden, Mother Cabrini was always a woman of compassion. Despite hardship, poor health and disappointment, Mother Cabrini’s peace of soul enabled her to radiate a joy born of unfaltering trust in divine providence. This total and unabashed trust in God was her outstanding personality characteristic and was the source of an inner strength, which propelled her to remarkable accomplishments in a relatively short amount of time. Some saw in Cabrini the embodiment of immigrant aspirations: to get ahead, to excel, to prove one’s self. Others, instead, attributed her achievements to the zeal of a saint.”
~ Sr. Mary Louise Sullivan, MSC, Ph.D., Mother Cabrini, “Italian Immigrant of the Century”
To view a video of Mother Cabrini’s canonization: