Centenary of the Death of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

Centenary of the Death of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini  

The Philatelic and Numismatic Office commemorates the death of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Patron of Immigrants, with a 95 euro cent postage stamp on a sheet with ten values.The image chosen is a work by Czech artist Marina Richteróva who depicts the Saint holding an illuminated oil lamp whose shape reminds the boat of migrants. The flame symbolizes the traveler’s hope and Saint Frances is like a lighthouse illuminating his way towards unknown destinations. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, taking her inspiration from Saint Frances Xavier, and like him, hoping to sail one day to China. Instead, she reached the United States in 1889 where she offered assistance to Italian immigrants who were departing in the millions during those years going overseas. The holiness of Frances Xavier Cabrini did not consist of mystical revelations, but of her lifelong dedication "to work, sweat and toil for God, His glory and to make Him known and loved". She often said: "with your grace, beloved Jesus, I run following you until the end of the race, for ever and ever. Help me, Lord, since I want to do this earnestly and quickly". Already in 1898 Pope Leo XIII said of her: "She is a true saint, but so close to us that she has become a witness to the holiness that is possible for everyone". In the United States she extended the outreach of her mission from Italian immigrants to orphans and the sick by building houses, schools and a large hospital in New York City. She later went to Chicago, California, and also South America, going all the way to Argentina. She died during one of her numerous travels, leaving the entire Church and the world a flourishing religious institute and the legacy of a life witnessing to apostolic charity in favor of the poorest. She was declared a Saint by Pope Pius XII on 7 July 1946 and in 1950 proclaimed "Patron Saint of Immigrants". In these times of great migrations, let us ask for her intercession as we pray for all those who are forced to leave their homelands for various reasons in search of a better life and future.