Biography of Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini

About Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini, history and biography of the Italian nun who worked in New York.


Cause. At the age of 12, Mother Cabrini took a private vow of virginity, which at the age of 18 became a permanent one. She, with members of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart (an order she founded), left Italy for New York in 1889.

In New York, she worked among the Italian immigrants, establishing orphanages, schools, adult classes teaching Christian doctrine, and Columbus Hospital.

She also traveled throughout the U.S. and in South America and Europe, founding convents, schools, orphanages, and hospitals.

Nomination. An informative hearing was begun by Cardinal George Mundelein in 1928. Her cause was introduced by Pope Pius IX in 1931. She was declared "Venerable" 2 years later, and was beatified in 1938. The rule of canon law that 50 years must elapse before canonization was waived in her honor. She was canonized in 1946, less than 30 years after her death. Pope Pius XII, in paying her tribute, said that "because of the will of God, she accomplished what seemed beyond the strength of a woman."

Present Stage. Canonized as of 1946.

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