Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

Today the dioceses in the United States celebrate the memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin, born in Lombardy, Italy, one of thirteen children. She came to America as a missionary, founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. She is the first American citizen to be canonized. December 22 is her feast day in the Extraordinary Rite.

via Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year.


Reflections from the Saints

We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone.

– St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

via myCatholic.com » Customizable Catholic Homepage.


St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

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Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, first canonized citizen of the United States by the Roman Catholic Church. Image via Wikipedia.

This saint, the first United States citizen to be canonized, was born in Italy of parents who were farmers. She was the thirteenth child, born when her mother was fifty-two years old. The missionary spirit was awakened in her as a little girl when her father read stories of the missions to his children. She received a good education, and at eighteen was awarded the normal school certificate.

For a while she helped the pastor teach catechism and visited the sick and the poor. She also taught school in a nearby town, and for six years supervised an orphanage assisted by a group of young women. The bishop of Lodi heard of this group and asked Frances to establish a missionary institute to work in his diocese. Frances did so, calling the community the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. An academy for girls was opened and new houses quickly sprang up.

One day Bishop Scalabrini, founder of the Missionaries of Emigration, described to Mother Cabrini the wretched economical and spiritual conditions of the many Italian immigrants in the United States, and she was deeply moved. An audience with Pope Leo XIII changed her plans to go to the missions of the East. “Not to the East, but to the West,” the Pope said to her. “Go to the United States.” Mother Cabrini no longer hesitated. She landed in New York in 1889, established an orphanage, and then set out on a lifework that comprised the alleviation of every human need. For the children she erected schools, kindergartens, clinics, orphanages, and foundling homes, and numbers of hospitals for the needy sick. At her death over five thousand children were receiving care in her charitable institutions, and at the same time her community had grown to five hundred members in seventy houses in North and South America, France, Spain, and England.

The saint, frail and diminutive of stature, showed such energy and enterprise that everyone marveled. She crossed the Atlantic twenty-five times to visit the various houses and institutions. In 1909 she adopted the United States as her country and became a citizen. After thirty-seven years of unflagging labor and heroic charity she died alone in a chair in Columbus Hospital at Chicago, Illinois, while making dolls for orphans in preparation for a Christmas party. Cardinal Mundelein of Chicago officiated at her funeral and in 1938 also presided at her beatification by Pius XI. She was canonized by Pius XII in 1946. She lies buried under the altar of the chapel of Mother Cabrini High School in New York City. — A Saint A Day, Berchmans Bittle, O.F.M.Cap.

Patron: hospital administrators; immigrants; orphans.

Symbols: ship; heart; book.

Things to Do:

via Catholic Culture : Liturgical Year.


Read the Bible at Mass

First Reading: 3 John 1:5-8
Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren, especially to strangers, who have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey as befits God’s service. For they have set out for his sake and have accepted nothing from the heathen. So we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers in the truth. (RSV)

Responsorial: Psalm 112:1-6 (RSV)

R. (1b) Blessed is the man who fears the LORD.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His descendants will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.

R. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Wealth and riches are in his house;
and his righteousness endures for ever.
Light rises in the darkness for the upright;
the LORD is gracious, merciful, and righteous.

R. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD.
or:
R. Alleluia.

It is well with the man who deals generously and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered for ever.

R. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel: Luke 18:1-8

And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said,

“In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’ For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.'”

And the Lord said,

“Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (RSV)

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