Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
She was born Maria Francesca Cabrini in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, in Lombardy in Italy, the youngest of thirteen children of Agostino Cabrini and Stella Oldini. Two months premature, she remained in delicate health throughout her 67 years. She took religious vows in 1877, becoming the Mother Superior of the House of Providence orphanage in Codogno , where she was teaching.
In 1880, the orphanage was closed and she became one of the seven founding members of the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus . Although her lifelong dream was to be a missionary in China, Pope Leo XIII sent her to New York on March 31, 1889. There, she obtained the permission of Archbishop Michael Corrigan to found an orphanage, the first of 67 institutions she founded in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and New Orleans, and in countries throughout South America and Europe.
She was beatified on November 13, 1938 and canonized on July 7, 1946 by Pope Pius XII. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini is the patron saint of immigrants. Her beatification miracle involved the restoration of sight to a child who had been blinded by excess silver nitrate in the eyes. Her canonization miracle involved the healing of a terminally ill nun.
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