St. Frances Xavier Cabrini was born in 1850 in the Lombard Province of Lodi. In 1870, Frances was denied entrance to the congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, so she began teaching at an orphanage where she drew a small group of women together. Frances took religious vows in 1877, taking the name Xavier in honor of Jesuit St. Francis Xavier. In 1880, Frances and the other women of her community founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Frances would be the superior general of the community until her death. She asked Pope Leo XVIII for permission to set up a mission in China but instead he suggested the sisters go to the United States. The sisters faced many difficulties when they moved to the United States from Italy. When she arrived in New York, Frances was unable to open an orphanage. Frances was told, therefore, that she should return to Italy. Instead, Frances and the other sisters decided to stay. Eventually, she would start 67 schools, orphanages, and hospitals in the United States. St. Frances is the patron saint of hospital administrators, immigrants, and impossible causes.
Questions for Reflection:
- What programs in your community or parish address the needs of the poor and marginalized? How can you help to better serve those needs?
- Have you ever felt that you were up against insurmountable odds? How have you overcome them? How did your faith help support you?