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O Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, mindful of Your bountiful goodness and love, deign, we implore You, through the tender devotion of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini for Your Sacred Heart, to hear our prayers and grant our petitions.
O God, the Holy Spirit, Comforter of the afflicted, Fountain of Light and Truth, through the ardent zeal of Your humble handmaid, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, grant us Your all-powerful aid in our necessities, sanctify our souls and fill our minds with Divine Light that we may see the Holy Will of God in all things. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, beloved spouse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, intercede for us that the favor we now ask may be granted.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (three times)
- Year XXII - Num. 201
|- The Pope on the current relevance of Romano Guardini|
|- Educating today and : a renewing passion, fifty years after Vatican Council II on Christian education|
|- Other Pontifical Acts|
|The Pope on the current relevance of Romano Guardini|
Vatican City, (VIS) – This morning in the Clementine Hall the Pope received in audience members of the Romano Guardini Foundation attending the Congress promoted by the Pontifical Gregorian University to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Italian-born German priest, theologian and writer. During the audience the president of the foundation, Professor Ludwig von Pufendorf, announced the imminent publication of a previously unpublished text by Guardini who, as the Holy Father affirmed, “has much to say to the people of our time, and not only Christians”.
Francis recalls that Guardini, in his book “The Religious World of Dostoevsky”, cites the episode in “The Brothers Karamazov” in which a peasant confesses to the starec (the spiritual guide of orthodox monasteries) that she had killed her sick husband who had mistreated her throughout his life. The starec notes that the woman, desperately aware of her guilt, is entirely closed in on herself and that any reflection, comfort or counsel would meet this wall. The woman is convinced she is condemned; however, the priest shows her the way out. Her life has meaning, because God will receive her at the moment of repentance. He urges her not to be afraid since there is not, and there cannot be, a sin on earth that God cannot forgive to those who repent sincerely, nor can there be a sin so great that it exhausts God's infinite love. In confession the woman is transformed and receives new hope.
“The simplest people understand what this is about”, said the Pope. “They perceive the greatness that shines in the starec's wisdom and the strength of his love. They understand what holiness means, that is, an existence lived in faith, able to see that God is close to man, that He holds their life in His hands. In this respect, Guardini says, that by accepting with simplicity existence in the hand of God, personal will transforms into divine will and in this way, without the creature ceasing to be only a creature and God truly God, their living unity is brought about”.
For Guardini, this “living unity” with God consists of the concrete relationship of people with the world and with others around them. “The individual feels a part of the fabric of the population, that is, in an original union of men that by type, country and historical evolution in life and destinies are a single entity”. The author of “The Meaning of the Church” considered the concept of “population” as the “compendium of what in man is genuine, profound and substantial. We are able to recognise in the population, as in a mirror, “field of the force of divine action”.
“Perhaps we can apply Guardini's reflections to our own time, seeking to uncover the hand of God in current events”, observed the Holy Father. “In this way we will perhaps be able to recognise that God, in His wisdom, sent us, in rich Europe, the hungry to be fed, the thirsty to slake their thirst, the stranger to be welcomed and the naked to be clothed. History then shows this: if we are a population, we will certainly welcome these as our brothers; if we are merely a group of individuals, we will be tempted only to save our own skins, but we will have no continuity”.
The Pope greeted the members of the Foundation, expressing his hope that Guardini's work will help them increasingly to understand the meaning and value of the Christian foundations of culture and society”.
|Educating today and : a renewing passion, fifty years after Vatican Council II on Christian education|
Vatican City, (VIS) - “Educating today and : a renewing passion” is the title of the World Congress organised by the Congregation for Catholic Education to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Gravissimum educationis”, the Vatican Council II Declaration on Christian education, and the 25th of “Ex corde Ecclesiae (Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities). The event will take place in Rome from .
The Congress was presented this morning in the Holy See Press Office by Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Congregation for Education, Bishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, secretary of the same congregation, and Professor Italo Fiorin, director of the “Educating in encounter and solidarity” School of Higher Education at the Libera Università Maria Ss. Assunta (LUMSA), Rome.
Cardinal Versaldi commented that these commemorative events highlight the participation of the Congregation for Catholic Education in the educational passion of the Church, which “is still aware today – as is stated in the incipit of the conciliar document whose fiftieth year we are celebrating – 'how extremely important education is in the life of man and how its influence ever grows in the social progress of this age'. Aware of this, the most recent consequence is the World Congress”.
Bishop Zani went on to explain that the idea of the Congress emerged during the plenary session of the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for Catholic Education in 2011, in in which they discussed the Department's future lines of action and Pope Benedict XVI, in his discourse, referred to the two anniversaries in 2015. This led to the choice of date for the Congress. In 2012, around fifty experts from around the globe met in Rome to identify pending problems regarding education promoted by the Church all over the world, and to make some first suggestions to relaunch important educational activities carried out by many Catholic institutions. The results of the seminar were gathered into a document bearing the same title as the Congress, and were sent to interested parties along with a questionnaire to be returned to the dicastery. “The reaction was surprising”, said Bishop Zani, “We received thousands of answers to the online questionnaire and hundreds of postal responses”.
The November Congress was preceded in June by a UNESCO international forum on education, attended by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. “Educating today and: a renewing passion” will open on in the Paul VI Hall with a session describing new scenarios in education and the aims of the meeting, and will continue on in other places, considering four themes: the identity and mission of Catholic schools and universities, the subjects of education and their various responsibilities (bishops, parents, directors, teachers and students), the formation of formators and the challenges of today and . On the participants, more than 2,200 in number, will be received in audience by the Holy Father.
The prelate emphasised, however, that the Congress will not be an end in itself, but may instead represent a new beginning in collaboration with the Congregation for Catholic Education and various other institutions. For example, there have been some requests for a General Directory of Catholic education, summarising the essential principles and norms issued in documents from the Council to today, relating to Catholic educational institutions, and the constitution of a working group for this purpose. Another aspect that emerged from the answers to the questionnaire is the need for a permanent centre of Christian inspiration to study pedagogical problems. This proposal has been accepted by LUMSA and a few months ago the “Educating in encounter and solidarity” School of Higher Education was established.
On 28 October this year Pope Francis constituted by chirograph the new Foundation “Gravissimum Educationis”, to study particular situations and to implement original and innovatory problems, especially in the most difficult situations. Finally, a small working group will be formed to study the legal problems that inevitably emerge in various parts of the world, especially following changes to constitutions or laws that may endanger the survival of Catholic schools and universities.
Vatican City, (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Claude-Joel Giordan, ambassador of the Principality of Monaco, presenting his credential letters;
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
- Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, apostolic nuncio in Russia and in Uzbekistan
- Luis Leonardo Almagro, secretary general of the Organisation of American States.
|Other Pontifical Acts|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, apostolic nuncio in Belorus, as apostolic nuncio in Ukraine.
- Archbishop Paolo Rocco Gualtieri, apostolic nuncio in Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles, as apostolic delegate in the Comoros Islands, with the function of apostolic delegate in La Reunion, France.
Feast: November 13
July 15, 1850, Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy
December 22, 1917, Chicago
July 7, 1946 by Pope Pius XII
Chapel of Mother Cabrini High School, New York City
immigrants, hospital administrators“We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone.”
Today, November 13, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), the first United States citizen to be canonized. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals, and at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, moved to the United States to work among immigrants. Through her care for those who were struggling, hard work, and obedience, Saint Frances is regarded today as the Patron Saint of all immigrants.
Frances Cabrini was born in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano (Lombardy, Italy). Born two months prematurely, Frances was small and weak, and struggled for survival. Frequently ill as a child, she would remain physically frail and susceptible to illness her entire life.
Frances’ parents were farmers, and her mother stayed at home each day with the children. In total, her parents produced eleven children, with Frances being the tenth. Sadly, only four of the Cabrini children survived their childhood. Despite numerous losses and tragedies in the family, both Frances’ mother and father were strong in the Catholic faith, and through their teaching and example, Frances came to love God. One of her favorite activities was listening to her father read the stories of missionaries from the Annals of the Propagation of the faith. More than anything, from and early age and throughout her life, Frances desired to travel to China as a missionary.
Frances was especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which inspired her growing faith. With her parents’ support, she applied for admission to several religious orders, but was turned away by each due to her frequent illnesses and frail health. Disappointed, but not discouraged, Frances cared for her parents until their death, as well as raised her brothers and sisters. Throughout all of this, despite her frailties, she worked on the family farm—physical activity that both taxed her body, but also prepared her for the physical work that she would encounter throughout her life. Upon the death of her parents, Frances began studying to her teaching degree at a boarding school administered by the Daughters of the Sacred Heart. While her classmates complained, she was delighted that the students of the school were required to live in the convent with the religious sisters. Adding to her joy was the devotion of the sisters to the Sacred Heart. Upon graduation, she again petitioned to join the order, but was again refused, with her health cited. The Superior of the Order encouraged her, saying, “You are called to establish another Institute that will bring new glory to the Heart of Jesus.”
Again disappointed, but not discouraged, Frances returned to her home town, and began teaching in a private school, spending her non-work hours devoted to charitable works and serving the poor. She was immediately recognized for her gentle spirit, teaching ability, faith, and obedience, and over the next several years, was requested to move from school to school by the diocese, filling vacant positions and invigorating educational facilities. Eventually, she was requested to move to the town of Codogno, and assume direction of the girls’ orphanage there, known as the House of Providence. The diocese wished to restructure the facility into a religious institute, and realized that despite her frail health, Frances possessed the faith and spirit to accomplish the task. Without hesitation, Frances accepted, and within the year, the five young women who taught at the House, entered their novitiate with Frances as their novice mistress. In 1877, at the age of 27, Frances’ wish to take the veil was granted, and along with her five sisters, made her profession. In honor of Jesuit father Frances Xavier, Frances took the name Xavier, becoming Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini—as she would be known for the remainder of her life. Named superior of the community by her local bishop, she was encouraged to form a new religious institute. Along with the five sisters who took their vows with her, she founded the Institute of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1880. While some objected to the inclusion of the word “Missionaries” in the order’s name (as it implied overseas work, and the bishop intended that the sisters serve locally), Mother Cabrini was already thinking on a larger, grander scale. She had plans for her sisters to spread the Gospel beyond the borders of Lombardy. Mother Cabrini left Lombardy to travel to Rome, as was the custom at the time, seeking approval from the pope for her fledgling order. She also wished to establish a mission house in Rome, from which she could then use as a base for international missions. Surprisingly, despite the youth of the foundress and the relative newness of the order, she received papal approval and permission to open two missions in Rome. Mother Cabrini also met the founder of the Missionary Institute of Saint Charles, who was looking for a religious woman to assist him with ministering to Italian immigrants overseas—specifically in New York. He requested that she assist, but Mother Cabrini was reluctant. Her plans were to send her missionaries to China, as she had always dreamed. However, when presented with a letter from New York Archbishop Corrigan, formally inviting the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to establish a house in New York, she was moved to request an audience with the pope.
Ever obedient, and certain in the plan of the Lord, Mother Cabrini decided that she would do whatever Pope Leo XIII asked her to. She presented her dilemma to him, and following deliberation and conversation, he responded: “Not to the East, but to the West.” Disappointed, but not discouraged, Mother Cabrini and six of her sisters set out immediately for New York. Upon arrival, she was surprised to find that Archbishop Corrigan had not expected her so soon, and even more surprised when he suggested they return to Italy until he could prepare for her arrival. But Mother Cabrini answered, "Your excellency, the Pope sent me here and here I must stay." The archbishop admired her pioneer spirit, and so she and her sisters were permitted to begin their work. She and her companions spent the first night in a dingy tenement in the heart of the Italian ghetto. They could not sleep and stayed awake, tired, yet peacefully engaged in prayer.
Soon afterwards, a local order, the Sisters of Charity, extended Mother Cabrini and her sisters hospitality and guided their first steps through the city. At once, the new sisters were faced with a language difference. Not speaking English, and being unfamiliar with the new countries customs, Mother Cabrini worked to establish her mission. She slowly gained the support of the Archbishop, eventually becoming dear friends. She secured the donation of a house for the Order, and soon thereafter, instituted an orphanage on the same property. A free school soon followed, all through donations and alms-gathering that the sisters undertook on a daily basis. Soon, based upon their good work—and the personal attention and spiritual direction they gave to each family in the Italian district—young women were requesting to join the order.
Mother Cabrini returned to Italy, accompanied by her first North American postulants, who began their novitiate in Codogno. After an audience with her friend, Pope Leo XIII, she returned to New York, and embarked upon the institution of a larger orphanage. This site eventually included the North American novitiate of the order. Purchased at a low price, due to the lack of fresh water on the site, Mother Cabrini soon discovered a underground spring (some called it a miracle!), which still provides water to this day.
From New York, the Missionary Sisters branched out throughout America, starting in New Orleans (school and orphanage), and continuing west. It became clear—both in New York and other areas—that the immigrants were not receiving the medical care that they needed in public hospitals. However, Mother Cabrini was not particularly inclined to undertake this ministry. It was not until she had a dream of Our Blessed Mother that she changed her mind. In her dream, Mother Cabrini saw Mary, the Mother of God, tending to a hospital patient. Asking Our Blessed Mother what she was doing, Mother Cabrini was surprised by her response: “I am doing the work you refuse to do.” Upon waking, Mother Cabrini moved quickly to establish a hospital for the Italian sick poor in New York City, and to her surprise, found herself to be a capable (even outstanding) healthcare provider and administrator. Hospitals were eventually established by the Missionary Sisters in Chicago and Seattle. The Missionary Sisters recount how the great faith of Mother Cabrini allowed this fast and miraculous growth of the order to occur. In Seattle, for example, as she was looking for a site to institute an orphanage, Mother Cabrini had a dream in which she saw a beautiful house on a hilltop. The next day she and some sisters were walking when she waved down a chauffeur-driven limo and asked for a ride. The lady in the limo was happy to help the sisters, and on the way, Mother Cabrini spoke of the house she had dreamed of. When they arrived at the convent and were saying goodbye, the lady told her: "Mother Cabrini, that house you dreamed of is mine, I own it. I never thought of parting with it, but if I may be allowed to enter your Holy House for a moment and receive a glass of water in the name of Our Lord, your little orphans shall have their home with my blessing." When asked later how she had obtained such a beautiful property, Mother Cabrini would say "I paid for it with three treasures: my love, a dream, and a glass of water in His Name."
The Order had successfully established bases in three American cities, but Mother Cabrini was thinking bigger. She extended the Missionary Sisters work into Latin America, establishing schools in Nicaragua and Argentina. She established schools in Europe, including Paris, London, and Madrid. And she continued to work throughout the United States, including schools in Chicago, Scranton, and Newark. Based upon the needs of the Italian miners working in and around the Rocky Mountains, Mother Cabrini traveled to Denver and established schools, orphanages, and a mission center.
While until that point her focus had been solely on Italian immigrants, the Missionary Sisters began to see the needs of other immigrant groups, extending their work to Mexican immigrants in California. Despite her failing health, Mother Cabrini traveled across the country (and the world!), visiting each house, and personally establishing new locations. Her travels included: New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Louisiana, Colorado, California, Washington State, Central and South America and Europe.
During this time, she fulfilled another personal goal, and became a citizen of the United States. Mother Cabrini began contemplating missions in Alaska, and still felt pulled toward Asia. However, the impact of her travels began to take its toll, and at the age of 67, she died in Chicago, in a private room at Columbus Hospital, as she was preparing Christmas candy for the local children. Less than 30 years later, she was canonized as a Saint—the first United States citizen to be canonized—by Pope Pius XII.
From the homily at the Canonization of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini by Pope Pius XII: “Inspired by the grace of god, we join the saints in honoring the holy virgin Frances Xavier Cabrini. She was a humble woman who became outstanding not because she was famous or rich or powerful, but because she lived a virtuous life. From the tender years of her youth, she kept her innocence as white as a lily and preserved it carefully with the thorns of penitence; as the years progressed, she was moved by a certain instinct and supernatural zeal to dedicate her whole life to the service and greater glory of God. She welcomed delinquent youths into safe homes, and taught them to live upright and holy lives. She consoled those who were in prison, and recalled to them the hope of eternal life. She encouraged prisoners to reform themselves, and to live honest lives. She comforted the sick and the infirm in the hospitals, and diligently cared for them. She extended a friendly and helping hand especially to immigrants, and offered them necessary shelter and relief, for having left their homeland behind, they were wandering about in a foreign land with no place to turn for help. Because of their condition, she saw that they were in danger of deserting the practice of Christian virtues and their Catholic faith. Undoubtedly she accomplished all this through the faith which was always so vibrant and alive in her heart; through the divine love which burned within her; and finally, through constant prayer by which she was so closely united with God from whom she humbly asked and obtained whatever her human weakness could not obtain. Although her constitution was very frail, her spirit was endowed with such singular strength that, knowing the will of God in her regard, she permitted nothing to impede her from accomplishing what seemed beyond her strength.”
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini’s life was filled with disappointments… but she was never discouraged. Despite setbacks, weak health, and constant difficulty, the accomplishments of Mother Cabrini are remarkable. Ever humble, she took no credit, instead directing those who might compliment her work back to the Lord—to Jesus Christ—though which all things were (and are) accomplished. Throughout her life, Mother Cabrini found her strength in the Lord, and used every ounce given to her to serve others. We look to her today as a model of obedience, hope, service and strength. Mother Cabrini, pray for us!
God our Father,
you called Frances Xavier Cabrini from Italy to serve the immigrants of America. By her example teach us concern for the stranger, the sick, and the frustrated. By her prayers help us to see Christ in all the men and women we meet Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Text by 365Rosaries