Following the exhaustive Vatican processes of beatification and canonization, Mother Cabrini was declared Blessed on November 13, 1938, and on July 7, 1946, she became the first United States citizen to be canonized a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. Today we celebrate that anniversary.
In 1950, Pope Pius XII formally proclaimed St. Frances Xavier Cabrini as the “Patroness of Immigrants.”
In his homily, Pope Pius XII said, “She gathered endangered youth in safe houses, and taught them holy and rightful principles. She consoled the spirit of the imprisoned, giving them the comfort of life eternal, and urging them to resume the right path and to remake an honest life. She consoled the sick and the infirm gathered in hospitals, and cared for them assiduously. Especially towards immigrants, who had left their own homes… did she extend a friendly hand, a sheltering refuge, relief and help.”
Pope Francis, in a letter to Sr. Barbara Staley, MSC, General Superior of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, writes, “Catholics today cannot forget that [this] is the vocation of every Christian and of every community of the disciples of Jesus.”
The late Sr. Mary Louise Sullivan, MSC, PhD, writes in her book, Mother Cabrini: “Italian Immigrant of the Century” that “Cabrini was a modern woman. Her interests were extensive. She certainly did not adapt readily to the role expected of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century women religious. She was an entrepreneur and world traveler, keenly aware of the currents of thought in the world of her time. Cabrini foresaw the twentieth century as one of revolution, and tailored her philosophy of education, healthcare, and social service to accentuate the intrinsic value and dignity of each human being touched by her Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”