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Who Is Mother Cabrini?

Author : Bob and Penny Lord

Copyright (c) 2010 Bob and Penny Lord's Site

Our story begins with Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. She was born in northern Italy in 1850, thirty nine years later, in 1889, she would travel to the United States, the first of many voyages she would make in her sixty seven years of service to the Lord. She is the first American citizen to be Canonized, a member of the Church Triumphant.

The story of Mother Cabrini, as she has been called throughout the Twentieth Century, is very simple. The Lord asked a favor of her; she said yes. Although it sounds simple, it was by no means an easy task. Someone had to take care of the Italian brothers and sisters in the United States; she saw the need and filled that need. The living out of that commitment is what made her a Saint.

We travel to the northern part of Italy, east of Turin and south of Milan, to the little farming village of Sant' Angelo Lodigiano to find the birthplace of our future Saint, Frances Xavier Cabrini. She was born in that small rural community on July 15, 1850, the thirteenth in a family of thirteen children. She was the youngest and the last of the family of Stella and Agostino Cabrini, saintly parents.

She was baptized the same day or the following day, given the name Maria Francesca, and in later years when she became a religious, she added Saverio (Xavier) to her name, after her most special Saint, Francis Xavier, who evangelized in India.

There were many unusual, unexplainable, or what we would term miraculous occurrences in the life of Mother Cabrini. The very first one happened on the day she was born. On the modest little farm of the Cabrinis, a flock of doves settled in the back yard of their home. It was extremely unusual for doves to settle in the area; pigeons yes, doves no. Her father, Agostino was a simple man and had no idea what it signified and so he tried to shoo them away. They wouldn't budge.

This was the beginning of many special gifts and signs given to this selfless servant of God. Humble, she never gave any importance to these gifts. But she never denied them either.

Her mother and father were holy people. They taught their children everything they knew about the Church and their Faith. The children especially looked forward to their father reading them stories on the Lives of the Saints.

They all gathered around him, as he spun tales of these brothers and sisters in Christ who had passed the test of time, had been washed in the blood of the Lamb, and were part of the Church Triumphant. This was the family into which this future Saint was born.

Frances was frail all her life, which accounted for her father rushing her off to Church to be baptized right after her birth. He feared she might not live. Isn't it just like the Lord to choose someone who's weak to do the work of ten strong people? She was in good company.

Most of our powerful women in the Church have been sick all their lives, like St. Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Mother Angelica, just to name a few. She had remarkable energy and people were amazed.

Frances was the youngest; what with her mother having so much to do and because of the toll that years of caring for the family had taken on her, little Frances was assigned to Rosa, the oldest girl, who was fifteen years old. It was a good choice in that Rosa had dreamed of becoming a nun, as well as a school teacher.

She taught little Francesca, or Cecchina, (as she was called because she was so delicate), everything she knew. Rosa was an excellent teacher, and so Francesca had the gift of private tutoring. She received an excellent education - gaining both secular and religious values from her sister.

Author's Resource Box

Bob and Penny Lord are renowned Catholic authors and television hosts on EWTN, Global Catholic television. They are prolific writers about the Catholic faith, especially the Saints for which they have been dubbed experts on the Saints. For more information about Saint Frances Cabrini go here

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Tags:   catholic saints, mother cabrini, frances cabrini, bob and penny lord, saint frances cabrini

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Submitted : 2010-11-22    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 207