8 Facts About the Amazing St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, First Canonized Saint from the United States

Public Domain / Caroline Bortle / ChurchPOP

We celebrate the feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini on Nov. 13 in the United States. She was the first United States citizen to ever become a canonized saint!

How cool is that?!

Here’s eight more amazing facts that you might not know about this incredible saint!

1) She came as an immigrant to help immigrants

Because of the terrible treatment of Italian immigrants, Bishop Scalabrini of the Diocese of Piacenza in Italy encouraged her to go to the United States. She wanted to go to China.

However, while meeting with Pope Leo XIII in 1877, he advised her to go “not to the East, but to the West.”

She arrived in New York City on March 31, 1889.

2) She was the youngest of 13 children

Born Francesca Cabrini, she was the youngest in a very large family. Born two months premature, Cabrini was one of four surviving children out of the 13. The remaining nine children died at young ages.

3) She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Francesca graduated with honors from a school run by the religious congregation, the Daughters of the Sacred Heart. She received her teaching certificate and wished to join this religious order after finishing school, but they told her she was “too frail” for their lifestyle.

She then decided to dedicate her life to service as a layperson. She worked at House of Providence Orphanage in Cadogno, Italy, where she took a religious habit in 1877.

However, in 1880, Franchesca made religious vows with seven other women to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a religious congregation in which she founded.

She chose the name St. Frances Xavier Cabrini after St. Francis Xavier, the missionary saint.

The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus devote their lives to prayer, service and ministry. They serve the poor, marginalized, and the suffering. Click here to learn more about their work.

4) She founded approximately 70 institutions all over the world

The saint founded many different institutions in several different countries in order to serve human needs, including the poor, abandoned and marginalized. These facilities included orphanages, hospitals and schools.

6) She is the patroness of immigrants

For obvious reasons, this Italian-born saint is the patroness of immigrants. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini immigrated to the United States at age 38, and became a citizen at age 59.

She is also the patron saint of hospital administrators.

7) She is part of the National Women’s Hall of Fame in New York

St. Frances Cabrini was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1996. The women honored on this list are those who have made or make contributions that are of “national or global importance and of enduring value.”

And of course, she did!

8) There are three shrines in the United States dedicated to St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

The National Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Chicago, the St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Shrine in New York, and the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden Colorado.

Here some photos Caroline took while visiting the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Colorado!

Caroline Bortle / ChurchPOP


Caroline Bortle / ChurchPOP


Caroline Bortle / ChurchPOP


Caroline Bortle / ChurchPOP


Caroline Bortle / ChurchPOP

This great saint once said, “I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him.”

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us!

[See also: 5 Facts About the Great St. Monica That Will Inspire You to Never Give Up Hope]

[See also: Here’s What Happens When Pro-Lifers Pray on the Streets of New York City]

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Make holy all the things!



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