Monday, November 13, 2017

Mother Cabrini

“Increase our faith!” Luke 17:5

November 13 is the Feast Day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. It was very unlikely that Mother Cabrini as she is sometimes called, would become a super saint. She was born two months premature and her parents had her baptized right away for fear she would not survive. She remained fragile and sickly her whole life. Only three of her twelve siblings survived past adolescence. At 18, when she applied to become a nun, she was refused because of her poor health. But that did not deter her from continuing to serve in a girl’s orphanage, drawing many young women to the Lord.

She finally made her religious vows at the age of 27. When the orphanage closed down, she along with 6 other women founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. She had excellent administrative skills and used her gifts to establish 7 homes, a free school and nursery.

Her journey took an abrupt change when Pope Leo XIII sent her to the United States to care for the flood of Italian immigrants who fell victims to prejudice and were exploited by their bosses in sweatshops. Many were losing their faith. Church and family life were sacrificed at the altar for survival. This was the environment that greeted Mother Cabrini as she and her Sisters started work in the slums of “Little Italy” in America. 

It is amazing that in her lifetime of 67 years she established nearly seventy orphanages, hospitals, and schools, in eight countries in Europe, South, Central, and North America. Where did all this energy and passion to serve come from?

Mother Cabrini was a contemplative missionary and she was always writing and praying. She took every challenge and question to Jesus and she was confident that God surrounded her from when she was very young with His boundless love, “encircling me as the waters of the sea surround and enclose a fish.”

Lord, may we take the example of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. May we trust fully in You, and bring everything we do to You in prayer. Increase our faith that we may do great things for You! 

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:^) Patsy