Meet Mother Cabrini, Patron Saint of Immigrants


Photo Credit: Public domain

When Frances Xavier Cabrini arrived in New York from her home in Italy, her experience mirrored that of many immigrants in this world: she was told to go home.

A house that was promised for her and her sisters by the Archdiocese of New York was no longer available, and the archbishop insisted she return to Italy. She refused. Improvised housing was found, and she and her sisters went to work scrambling (even begging) for funds, overcoming hardship after hardship, to ultimately found 67 institutions (in the US alone) to serve the poor, the uneducated, the sick, the abandoned, and especially the immigrant.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, widely known as “Mother Cabrini,” whose feast day we celebrate on November 13. It feels like no coincidence that the centennial of her death falls this year, when Pope Francis launched Share the Journey, a global campaign inviting people around the world to love our immigrant and refugee neighbors, because Mother Cabrini is a patron saint of immigrants.

Honor Mother Cabrini, patron saint of immigrants, by joining the Share the Journey campaign today. Sign up for Share the Journey and learn more about our brothers and sisters who have fled their homes, and how you can support them.

Your neighbors live across the street and across the country, across oceans and hemispheres. As millions of God’s children flee war, persecution and poverty, Pope Francis, Caritas Internationalis, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities USA, and Catholic Relief Services invite you to share their journey by walking with them in prayer and support.  At, you will find:

  • prayers,
  • church teaching,
  • videos,
  • activities & reflections, and
  • other resources in English and Spanish for your families and faith communities, to deepen our Catholic solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters everywhere.

We’ll stay in touch with periodic updates on the activities, resources and actions for Share the Journey. Thanks for being here.

A Hymn Piercing the Darkness

A Prayer inspired by St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

God of our Wandering Ancestors,

I am an immigrant, a refugee,
an exile from heaven.
You made America a place of immigrants
and inspired Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini and her sisters,
welcoming and comforting the immigrant,
helping to make this nation a home for our children.

Mother Cabrini went down into the mines
to meet immigrant workers where they were,
her hymns piercing the darkness.
But there are dark places I fear to go,
people I fear to meet.
Fill me with the words that emboldened your shining saint: I have the strength for everything through God who empowers me.

May it be said of me that, like Mother Cabrini,
I treated the stranger not as an alien,
but as a brother or a sister,
greeting them with an embrace and a song of joy.

And when my days on Earth are done,
may I be greeted by one such as she,
by a hymn piercing even the darkness of death,
welcoming me to God’s kingdom,
an exile no longer.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.


Copyright 2017 Catholic Relief Services


About Author

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. We are the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a member of Caritas International and the National Catholic Development Conference. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus and Pinterest.

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