The State of Colorado celebrates the life and works of an amazing humanitarian whose life was dedicated to service of others with a paid state holiday called “Frances Xavier Cabrini Day” – it is the first paid state holiday recognizing a woman in United States history. The holiday was officialized by the Colorado Legislature in March 2020 and is celebrated on the first Monday in October. The holiday celebrates Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (Mother Cabrini), the Universal Patroness of Immigrants. Coloradan’s have a special relationship with Mother Cabrini who, in the early 1900’s, established a school for the children and grandchildren of Italian immigrants (later to be named Mt. Carmel grade school and high school) and the Queen of Heaven Orphanage. She is also honored at the popular Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, Colorado. Read more about the shrine at https://churchwonders.com/mother-cabrini-shrine-golden-co/. Accompanying the announcement of the State Holiday is the Cabrini Day Pledge, “In the spirit of Frances Xavier Cabrini, I pledge to be kinder and more compassionate, and will work to improve the community I live in. I will also take time to care for myself and reflect upon the impact of my actions.”
About Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (Mother Cabrini)
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini was an Italian-born woman (July 15, 1850) who immigrated to the U.S. and became the first U.S. Citizen to be canonized on July 7, 1946. In 1880, the future saint, along with 7 other women, founded the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They originally wanted to be missionaries in China, but were advised by Pope Leo XIII to go to the U.S. to minister to the Italian immigrants. (At her profession of religious vows in 1877, Frances Cabrini added the name “Xavier” as a tribute to the Jesuit, St. Francis Xavier, who evangelized in the Far East.) Mother Cabrini arrived in New York City in 1889 and went on to found 67 institutions (schools, hospitals and orphanages) in the U.S., Italy, France, England, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, and Nicaragua. Like their founder, these institutions are dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. Today, there are 3 major Shrines in the U.S. dedicated to the Saint in Chicago, New York City and Golden, Colorado. Churches, schools and hospitals across the world bear her name as they continue her legacy. Mother Cabrini died on December 22, 1917 at Columbus Hospital in Chicago which she helped establish in 1905; and her feast day is celebrated in the Catholic Church on November 13th (the day of her beatification).