This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 22 -- St. Francesca Xavier Cabrini

In 1946, she was canonized as the Patroness of Immigrants by Pope Pius XII. She is identified as the "first citizen saint" at the Immigration Museum at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. Having observed the plight of Italian immigrants in the USA, crowded into ghettos without much social, religious, or educational support, Francesca led some Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to the USA. The local bishop didn't approve of women leading religious efforts until he got a sharp letter from Bishop John Baptist Scalabrini endorsing her work.

My favorite anecdote about Francesca is that she declined a request to open a hospital in NYC, saying that she was a teacher, not a nurse. Then she dreamed that the Virgin Mary was nursing the sick, and declared that she (Mary) had to do it because she (Francesca) would not. I find the story hilariously tragic, not because Francesca's hospital failed, but because she was so driven to serve others. The Columbus Hospital was founded in 1892, the four hundredth anniversary of that Italian explorer's discovery of the New World.

No comments:

Post a Comment