Saint Francesca Cabrini

Francesca Cabrini represents a bridge between Italy and the United States and gathers together the values that these two nations and communities share.

This is why International Patrons of Duomo di Milano wants to dedicate to its donors the spire of Saint Francesca Cabrini on the Duomo di Milano, within the chance to leave their mark in the history of this monument.

Francesca Cabrini is known worldwide as the “migrant’s mother” and she was the 1st America citizen to become a saint!

Saint Francesca Cabrini

She dedicated her life to the poorest and humblest people during the period of the great migrations of the beginning of the 20th century.

She was a brave and entrepreneurial woman. Thanks to her work now several schools, hospitals and orphanages exist throughout the United States.

Born in 1850 in a small town near Milan, at the age of 27 Mother Cabrini, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, sought to obtain the approval of the papacy to establish a mission in China. The Pope suggested she go “not east, but west”, to the United States, to help Italian immigrants then arriving in the United States in droves and facing extreme poverty.

Saint Francesca Cabrini

In 1889, she landed in New York. For almost 30 years, she and her Missionary Sisters tirelessly supported immigrants and the poor, establishing dozens of orphanages, hospitals and schools, from New York to Philadelphia, Chicago to Los Angeles, Denver to New Orleans, and eventually in South America.

New York’s Cabrini Boulevard is named in her honor, as is Cabrini Street in Chicago, where Mother Cabrini died in 1917. Cabrini was beatified in 1938, and in 1946 she became the first naturalized citizen of the United States to be canonized.

Her popularity extends beyond the Italian-American community, and her method is recognized as being extraordinarily prescient in today’s world; her initiatives are still a point of reference for social service workers.

Mother Francesca Cabrini Mother Francesca Cabrini

Mother Cabrini and the Duomo di Milano

During World War II, one of the statues of the Duomo was irrecoverably damaged. Its subject’s identity was unknown.

In the ensuing years, while people were trying to figure out how to replace it, Cabrini was made a Saint. Shortly thereafter, the decision to dedicate her the statue and by association to all the world’s emigrants, was made. Its realization was entrusted to the sculptor Michele Boninsegna and the new statue was installed in 1956.

Since then, Cabrini has looked down upon the city of Milan from up high, bridging the gap between past and future, Italy and America, and Milan and New York.

The spire of St. Francesca Cabrini on the Duomo di Milano

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