The Papal Artifacts’ Collection is primarily dedicated to artifacts connected to the papacy. Individual popes, their biographies and multiple items belonging to them, including first and second class relics, make up the majority of this Collection. But that isn’t all it is.
Father Kunst has a deep devotion to the saints as can be readily seen in viewing the Saints & Blesseds section of this site. We invite you to visit Papal History/Saints & Blesseds to view the many canonized and beatified men and women who make up this section of the Collection.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini is one of them.
NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will mark Columbus Day by dedicating a statue of the Italian-American saint known as Mother Cabrini in lower Manhattan.
The unveiling of the statue on Monday comes a year after Cuomo announced that the state would commission a monument to the Roman Catholic nun who was canonized in 1946. That decision came after a commission led by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, omitted Mother Cabrini from a list of women who would be honored with statues, angering some Catholics.
“This year we unveil a magnificent monument to our Italian American legacy and that monument will stand for all time,” Cuomo told the Columbus Citizens Foundation in a video address Saturday.
In a conference call with reporters Sunday, Cuomo said he would attend the unveiling at a spot by the Hudson River with a view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini was born in 1850 in what is now the Lombardy region of Italy. She immigrated to the United States in 1889 and went on to found schools, hospitals and orphanages. She died in 1917.
Cuomo has resisted calls to remove the statue of Columbus near Central Park over the explorer’s treatment of Indigenous people. He said Saturday that Italian Americans will now have “two great statues in New York City — the Christopher Columbus statue and the Mother Cabrini statue.” Cuomo called Mother Cabrini “the personification of the Italian American legacy.”
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
Born in Italy in 1850, Frances Xavier Cabrini is the first American to be canonized. She was the thirteenth child of a moderately prosperous Lombardi farmer. Having run an orphanage in northern Italy for three years after becoming a nun in 1877, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Her intention was to do missionary work in China, but Pope Leo XIII requested that she travel to the United States to minister to Italian immigrants.
Frances arrived in New York in 1889 and immediately began to open orphanages and other institutions, both hospitals and schools. Her first orphanage, the St. Cabrini Home, was in Ulster County.
She became an American citizen in 1909. Her work was never restricted to the United States. She traveled widely across Central and South America as well as making numerous return visits to Europe. In all, she oversaw the opening of sixty-seven institutions.
At her canonization on July 7, 1946, Pius XII said,
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 the strength of a woman.