Prayer for the Intercession of Mother Cabrini
November 10, 1996
Brother John Raymond

	We do not have many American saints. So I wouldn't want to pass a
 certain one by when her feastday comes around in the Liturgical
 Year. This Saint was the Mother Teresa of Calcutta of her day. Her
 name is St. Frances Xavier Cabrini or "Mother Cabrini."
	The thirteenth child to be born to Augustine and Stella Cabrini
 on July 15, 1850 was christened Maria Francesca. (Thirteen was the
 lucky number for these parents!) Augustine farmed the land he owned
 in Sant' Angelo Lodigiano, a town in northern Italy. Francesca was
 taught by her sister Rosa, who was a school teacher. Her parents
 were devout Catholics. With their children they would read aloud
 various Catholic works including the "Annals of the Propagation of
 the Faith." This particular work inspired young Francesca with a
 desire to go to the foreign missions. Her parents had different
 ideas for her career. They wanted her to follow in her sister Rosa's
 footsteps and become a school teacher. They sent her to a boarding
 school for this purpose. At eighteen Francesca passed her exams
 qualifying her to teach. Unfortunately, two years later both her
 parents died. For two more years she lived with her sister Rosa.
 Then she decided to pursue a religious vocation.
	Two communities she applied to rejected her because of poor
 health. A rather eccentric woman had founded an orphanage at a
 parish in Codogno. The parish priest and the bishop asked her to
 help out there hoping to turn the staff into a religious community.
 Francesca suffered much under this woman who really became insane.
 After seven years they were able to make their first vows. Francesca
 was put in charge but this same woman gave her much trouble for the
 next three years. Finally, the Bishop gave her permission to start
 an institute of missionary sisters. Mother Cabrini and her seven
 recruits moved to an abandoned Franciscan friary. Here she drew up
 constitutions for the community. Their principal work was to be the
 Christian education of girls. They were called The Missionary
 Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Soon she opened three other houses.
	A bishop had begun a society of priests to help with the Italian
 immigrants in America. He asked Mother Cabrini if her community
 would go to America and help these priests. She had wanted to go to
 the East. She asked the advice of Pope Leo XIII who told her, "Not
 to the East, but to the West." This was not an easy trip for her. As
 a child she had fallen into a river. Since then she feared water.
 Now she would have to cross it in a ship. (In her lifetime she would
 cross the Atlantic twenty-five times by ship.) With six sisters she
 landed in New York on March 31, 1889. She founded a house at West
 Park, on the Hudson river. She was called away to found a house in
 Nicaragua. On her return she stopped by New Orleans and founded
 another house. In 1892 she began the Columbus Hospital in New York.
	Mother Cabrini returned to Italy for the opening of two more
 houses. The order was expanding rapidly. By 1907 the order had
 increased to over a thousand sisters in eight countries. In her
 lifetime she was to see sixty-seven houses founded: free-schools,
 high schools, hospitals and other establishments. She died at a
 convent of her sisters in Chicago on December 22, 1917. She was
 canonized in 1946, becoming the first United States citizen saint.
	A beautiful shrine has been dedicated to her in northern
 Manhattan. Relics of her body are encased in a wax figure of her
 under the main altar. Also, the room and chair where she died in
 Chicago is preserved. Her feastday is November 13th.

Novena in Honor of Mother Cabrini

	Lord God, Omnipotent and Merciful Father, look favorably upon me,
 and through the merits of Mother Cabrini, graciously grant the
 graces which I need, if my petition is in accordance with Your Holy
	Mother Cabrini, beloved Spouse of Jesus, pray for me. Glory be to
 the Father... (three times)
	Divine Savior, Son of God, equal to the Father, made Man for love
 of me, because of the ardent devotion that Mother Cabrini had for
 Your Sacred Heart, free me from the affliction which weighs upon me
 and grant me the favor which I earnestly ask of You.
	Mother Cabrini, beloved Spouse of Jesus, pray for me. Glory be to
 the Father... (three times)
	God the Holy Spirit, Consoler of the afflicted, for the tender
 devotion professed for You by Mother Cabrini, grant me Your
 All-powerful aid; help me in my necessities and give me the graces
 which I so much desire.
	Mother Cabrini, beloved Spouse of Jesus, pray for me. Glory be to
 the Father... (three times)
	God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I believe in You, I hope in
 You, I love You above all things. For the greater glory of Your
 servant, have mercy on me, grant me the favor which I can expect
 only from You, and to You be honor and glory forever. Amen.

(Novena taken from "Mother Cabrini," St. Paul Editions: Boston, 1977)