Archive for the ‘St. Frances Xavier Cabrini’ Category

Mother Cabrini (or at least her arm bone) on the move

November 25, 2008

St. Frances Xavier CabriniMother Cabrini relic gets new home

November 25, 2008

A sacred relic of the USA’s first saint, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, who helped the poor and sick in Chicago, was moved Sunday to a new temporary home in a Little Village church.

The Chicago Tribune reports that parishioners at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii welcomed the relic, the humerus bone of the right arm of Mother Cabrini, who was the first American to be canonized by the Catholic Church.

She is one of us,” said Bishop Raymond Goedert during the services. “Every piece of Chicago was blessed by her presence. Chicago is where she lived and died.

Mother Cabrini started dozens of hospitals, schools and orphanages throughout the country. In Chicago she founded the now-shuttered Columbus Hospital in Lincoln Park, and the Cabrini-Green public-housing complex was named in her honor.

The relic was transported in an ornate glass and gold reliquary to an altar at the church. While there are dozens of Mother Cabrini relics worldwide (her heart is in Italy), the humerus bone is Chicago’s most significant.

The relic was displaced about a year ago from a Mother Cabrini shrine on the property of Columbus Hospital, which is being renovated into Lincoln Park 2520, a 306-unit condominium complex. The National Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini is housed within a chapel on the grounds. The chapel is owned by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Mother Cabrini helped found, and is undergoing renovations.


An American Saint’s Day: St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

November 13, 2008

Today is the feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, born an Italian, but a very important part of the history of the Church in the United States.  We are largely a Church of immigrants, and many of those immigrants owed much to the ministry of Mother Cabrini.

Here is an article I published at Catholic Exchange to mark the sixtieth anniversary of her canonization, at a time when the immigration issue was a front and center political issue.  (A typographical error has the article saying it was 1956 — but noting the sixtieth anniversary!  It was actually a 1946 canonization.)

One thing I enjoy watching for is interconnections in the lives of saints.  In her case, it was conversations with Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini, another who devoted much of his ministry to immigrants, that influenced her desire to come to America to help the immigrants, most of whom were living in such deplorable conditions, here.  And though he’s not a blessed or a saint, we should note that Pope Leo XIII, great defender of the poor, was a big admirer of and very influential on the course of her life. 

At a time of such turmoil and profound challenges to both our country and the Church here, we certainly need her prayers.

Mother Cabrini, pray for us!