Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Saint Talk: St. Frances Cabrini

Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Frances Cabrini, the first United States citizen to be canonized and patron of immigrants.

Cabrini was born on July l5, 1850 in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano in the province of Lombardy, which is located in northern Italy.  St. Frances Cabrini was the tenth of eleven children (some sources say she twelve siblings). All but four of the children died before adolescence. Although Frances survived a premature birth, she was frail.

St. Frances Cabrini's parents, Agostino, who was farmer, and Stella who was a housewife, were devout Catholics.  They lived as example of the faith for their children. Agosto even "read to the family from the Annals of the Propagation of the Faith, telling stories of the great missionaries."  These stories of missionaries and her frail health influenced her entire life.

St. Frances Cabrini was rejected by several religious order because of her frail health. Frances, determined to do God's work, in 1863 she registered as a student at Normal School in Arluno in order to become a teacher. While she studied at the school, she lived with nuns. This served further fueled her desire to enter into the religious life. Eventually, through her work as a teacher, she would form her own order known at the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Some time after 1877, Pope Leo XIII would send St. Frances as a missionary to the United States.

Discernment Prayer by St. Frances Xavier Cabrini:

My Jesus,
I have not always recognized
your loving plans for me.

Every day,
with the help of your light,
I learn more of your loving care.

Continue to increase 
my awareness of the gentleness of
your loving plans.

I want to follow the purpose
for which I was created.

See, I am in your hands.

I need you to help me choose
the best way to serve you.

Walk with me, Jesus.
Stay by my side and guide me!