Wednesday, November 13, 2019
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
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On November 13th, in the United States we keep the traditional feastday of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. On the Universal Calendar, today is the Feast of St. Didacus and in various particular calendars, the Benedictines today celebrate the Feast of All Benedictine Saints, and the Dominicans keep the Commemoration of All Dominican Souls on this day. The life of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini is read as part of the Martyrology entry for December 22nd, the anniversary of the date of her passing to eternal life. In the United States, her feast is celebrated on November 13th, the day of her beatification, in order to avoid conflicting with the greater ferias of Advent.

From childhood Frances Cabrini desired to become a missionary for Christ. After some unsuccessful starts, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Codogna, Italy; and in 1889 at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, she accepted the invitation of New York's Archbishop Corrigan to work among the numerous Italian immigrants of that era. Mother Cabrini founded orphanages, schools, and hospitals all over the United States, and extended her institute to Central and South America, France, Spain, and England. Everywhere her work succeeded only through her unbounded trust in God's providence. Though always in poor health, she traveled constantly, crossing the Atlantic 25 times in spite of a great fear of ocean voyages.

A naturalized citizen of the United States, Mother Cabrini died in 1917 in the convent of her great hospital in Chicago, and was canonized in 1946, the first American citizen-saint.

Collect:

O Lord, Jesus Christ, You enkindled the fire of Your Sacred Heart in the holy virgin Frances Xavier so that she might win souls for You in many lands, and establish a new religious congregation of women in Your Church. Grant that we too may imitate the virtues of Your Sacred Heart through her intercession, so that we may be worthy of the haven of eternal happiness, who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

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