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Mother Cabrini wanted faith to be at the center of healthcare

Frances Cabrini

Lawrence OP | Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/06/24

Mother Cabrini established a number of hospitals and always fought to keep God at the center, believing that faith was an essential element in healthcare.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (affectionally known as Mother Cabrini) was a healthcare pioneer in the United States, establishing 67 institutions during her short life. This number includes schools, orphanages, hospitals, and social service outreach programs.

St. John Paul II describes her as having, “remarkable boldness,” never being afraid of large projects or insurmountable odds. Furthermore, she took her faith with her in all of our missionary activities.

Faith at the center of healthcare

This was especially the case in hospitals, where she believed that faith should hold a primary place in healthcare. This is highlighted in a 1918 article for the Catholic World magazine:

[I]t was now evident that hospitals offered the best chance to win back adult Italians who had abandoned their faith and to influence deeply those who could be brought in no other way under Christian influences. After an Italian had been under the care of these devoted Italian Sisters, it was, indeed, hard for him to neglect his religion as before, and many a family returned to the devout practice of the Faith when the father had had his eyes opened to the practical virtues of religion by his stay in the hospital. 

She believed that helping the sick and serving the poor was a method of evangelization, opening the doors of the heart to God.

Rooted in prayer

Above all things, she could not have made such strides in healthcare without a life rooted firmly in God and in prayer, as St. John Paul II wrote in a letter to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart:

Her extraordinary activity — as you well know — drew its strength from prayer, especially from long periods before the tabernacle. Christ was everything to her. Her constant concern was to discern his will in the directives of the Church’s Magisterium and in the events of life themselves. 

Mother Cabrini is the perfect example for all healthcare workers. She knows exactly what it feels like serving the sick and suffering, and is a powerful intercessor for all who call upon her aid.

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FaithHealth and WellnessSaints
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