On November 13th, the universal Church honors the memory of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, an Italian missionary who dedicated most of her life to serving Italian immigrants in the United States. Despite her fear of water and drowning, St. Frances made over 30 trips across the Atlantic Ocean to fulfill her mission.
Initially aspiring to be a missionary in China, St. Frances joined the Sisters of the Sacred Heart and adopted the name “Xavier” in honor of St. Francis Xavier, the renowned missionary to the Orient. Despite her plans, she was advised by Pope Leo XIII to focus her efforts on the United States, accepting an invitation from Archbishop Corrigan of New York to come and serve the marginalized Italian immigrant community.
For nearly 30 years, St. Frances tirelessly worked to set up orphanages, hospitals, convents, and schools across the U.S. for the Italian immigrants. As a result of her hard work, she became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Her canonization in 1946 coincided with the arrival of a new wave of immigrants to the United States.
Frances Xavier Cabrini is recognized as the patron saint of immigrants.
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