New York City: Saint Frances Cabrini Shrine
About Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini:
As the first citizen of the United States to be declared a Saint, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini is honored in many places throughout the U.S., perhaps none more so than here in New York, at the Mother Cabrini Shrine.
A native of Italy, she originally had hoped to go to the Far East, she was instead sent to the U.S. in 1889 at the suggestion of the Pope Leo XIII, who realized the need for supporting the many immigrants from Italy who had settled there. Mother Cabrini became the Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. This order was a major support for Italian immigrants to the U.S., most of whom were Catholic.
Mother Cabrini organized catechism and education classes for the Italian immigrants in New York City as well as providing for the needs of the many orphans. At this time, Italian immigrants faced discrimination even from fellow Catholics , those such as the Irish who got there before them. And, of course, the Italians did not speak English as did the Irish so it was easy to take advantage of these new immigrants.
Despite the uphill task she faced, she was able to establish schools and orphanages, and eventually she made 23 trans-Atlantic voyages (although she was afraid of the water) and opened schools, hospitals and orphanages throughout the world.
She became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1909 and died in Chicago on December 22, 1917 in one of the hospitals she had helped establish (see link below). In 1946, she was canonized a saint by Pope Pius XII in recognition of her holiness and service to mankind and was named Patroness of Immigrants in 1950.
Today the Missionary Sisters, their lay collaborators and volunteers work as teachers, nurses, social workers, administrators and members of institutional boards of trustees. They can be found on six continents and 15 countries throughout the world – wherever there is a need.
The Feast Day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini is celebrated in the U.S. on November 13 and on December 22 in the rest of the world.
About Saint Frances Cabrini Shrine in New York City:
When her body was exhumed, her head was removed and is preserved in the chapel of the congregation’s international motherhouse in Rome. An arm is at the national shrine in Chicago, while most of the rest of her body is here at the shrine in New York under the altar.
Mother Cabrini was beatified on November 13, 1938, by Pope Pius XI, and canonized on July 1946 by Pope Pius XII.
Unfortunately, the school itself had to close at the end of the 2014 school year due to declining enrollment. The Shrine will remain open to visitors.
The Shrine is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Masses are held in both in English and Spanish Check their website for details.
Saint Frances Cabrini Shrine is available for weddings, funerals and baptisms. They also have a variety of retreat and conference facilities.
Traveling to the Saint Frances Cabrini Shrine in New York City:
The shrine is located in upper Manhattan.
Address: 701 Fort Washington Ave., New York, NY 10040
GPS coordinates: 40° 51′ 28.7352” N, 73° 56′ 8.3724” W
Tel: +1 (212) 923-3536
Click here for the official website of the Saint Frances X. Cabrini Shrine in New York City.
There are several other shrines in the U.S. devoted to Mother Cabrini:
Click here for the National Shrine of Saint Frances Cabrini in Chicago, Illinois
Click here for the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, Colorado
Find a great selection of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Medals and statues here.