Have you ever thought of migrating to another country? Or know someone who did?
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the patron saint of immigrants, could probably be called in colloquial Filipino “gala,” a globetrotter, a perennial migrant.
During a time when women’s proper place was still commonly thought to be the home, Frances crossed the Atlantic ocean 23 times, establishing 67 schools, hospitals, and orphanages.
Such daring from someone born premature.
Frances was weak as a child and remained physically fragile all her life.
She was part of a family where only four of the thirteen survived beyond adolescence.
Despite her health condition and against the advice of the people around her, she pursued a life of mission.
She had originally wanted to go to China but was famously told by Pope Leo XIII to go “not to the East, but to the West.”
He was probably already observing the falling away of believers in historically Christian nations.
Settling down in New York in 1889, she was to help address the spiritual and material needs of the thousands of Italian immigrants already in the United States.
Her life in the U.S. was full of challenges and hardships, which included finding a house for her first orphanage.
Despite all of these, she did not give up and was said to be as “prayerful as she was resourceful.”
Gifted with great administrative ability and a deep trust in God, she traveled to Europe, Central and South America, and throughout the United States to establish institutions to help the poor.
As a Filipino living abroad myself, it’s really challenging to start a life in a foreign land.
It’s daunting, to say the least.
But St. Frances’ life is a testimony that you will bloom where you're planted when you’re with God.
Her persistence and love for others transcended her physical limitations and allowed her to bring the love of God to those who needed it the most.
Let’s take heart that we serve a God who even conquered death.
1. What’s stopping me from living a life of mission for others?
2. How can I continue pursuing a God-appointed task in the midst of an ongoing storm in life?
Have you ever wondered why Catholics pray with saints? Let’s unbox: