A life size bronze statue of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini will be installed and dedicated in the north garden of Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State St., on Saturday, Oct. 15.
All are invited to a special Mass at noon, with the unveiling, dedication, and reception immediately following the Mass.
In addition to the statue, a first class relic and bas relief of Mother Cabrini will be placed in a reliquary inside the cathedral.
The first United States citizen to be declared a saint, Mother Cabrini was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1946 and named Patron Saint of Immigrants in 1950 for her tireless work on behalf of her fellow Italian immigrants. During her mission in Chicago, she opened schools, hospitals, and orphanages across the U.S. One of the hospitals she opened was Cabrini Hospital on the Near West Side.
Born and raised in Lombardy, Italy, as a young adult she worked as a teacher and supervisor of an orphanage in Codogno. In 1877 she took her vows and changed her name in honor of St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of missionaries; soon after, she became known as Mother Cabrini.
She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in 1880, who served orphans and taught school. She planned to found a convent in China, but Pope Leo XIII directed her to “go west, not east,” and she sailed with a small group of sisters for the United States in 1889.
This journey was the first in a series that took her through the Americas and into Europe. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1909. Although plagued by ill health most of the time, Mother Cabrini established 67 houses—one for each year of her life—in such cities as Buenos Aires, Paris, Madrid, and Rio de Janeiro.
Mother Cabrini died in Chicago, her favorite city, in December 1917.
For information, contact Holy Name Cathedral at (312) 787-8040.