Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Thirty Second Week in Ordinary Time & St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, November 13,2017
Frances was born of a pious family in Lombardy, Italy, in 1850 A.D. She took private religious vow at age twenty-seven, adding “Xavier” to her name in honor of the great Jesuit missionary to the East. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1880 A.D. with the aim of evangelizing in China, yet Pope Leo XII advised her to go “not to the east, but to the west.” Responding to Bishop (now Blessed) Scalabrini’s plea for aid to Italian immigrants, Frances and her sisters went to New York in 1889 A.D. They immediately gathered orphan children into a home. When asked to open a hospital, Frances pleaded her ignorance of health care. The Blessed Mother appeared to her in a dream, tending the sick. “I am doing the work you refuse to do,” she told Frances. Columbus Hospital was Frances’ next effort. In twenty-eight years she founded sixty-seven schools, orphanages, convents, and hospitals in the United States and beyond. Frances died in 1917 A.D.