Ordinary Time: November 13th
Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin (USA)
Old Calendar: St. Didacus, confessor; St. Stanislaus Kostka (Hist)
Today the dioceses in the United States celebrate the memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin, born in Lombardy, Italy, one of thirteen children. She came to America as a missionary, founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. She is the first American citizen to be canonized. December 22 is her feast day in the Extraordinary Rite.According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Didacus, a humble Franciscan laybrother and the recipient of exceptional graces. He received such light from God that he spoke of heavenly things in a manner almost divine; certain miracles, but especially his obedience, charity and fervor of his prayer, caused him to be considered a saint wherever he went. He was born in Andalusia, was sent as a missionary to the Canary Isles, spent some time in Rome and returned to die in Spain.
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
This saint, the first United States citizen to be canonized, was born in Italy of parents who were farmers. She was the thirteenth child, born when her mother was fifty-two years old. The missionary spirit was awakened in her as a little girl when her father read stories of the missions to his children. She received a good education, and at eighteen was awarded the normal school certificate.
- If you live in or pass through Colorado, visit the western Mother Cabrini Shrine.
- Read more about St. Francis Cabrini.
- Prepare an Italian dinner in honor of St. Francis Cabrini. For dessert make a ship cake (symbolizing her missionary work), a heart cake (she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart) or a Book Cake (symbolizing her founding a religious order).
- Say the Little Rosary of St. Francis Xavier Cabrini.
- Read the Encyclical, On Consecrated Virginity, by Pius XII and if you are single consider the possibility of a vocation to this life.
- Read the Pope Benedict XVI's Address for World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 2007.
- If you know someone who has immigrated to this country, try to help them feel welcome, perhaps by inviting them over for the Italian dinner.
Didacus (or Diego, Jacob) was born in the town of San Nicolas, Andalusia. From early youth he showed a love for solitude. At Arrizafa, near Cordova, he became a Franciscan brother and was outstanding in humility and obedience. He had little formal education, yet through divine enlightenment in no way lacked wisdom. As a missionary he visited the Canary Islands and was appointed first superior of the new foundation there. In 1450 Pope Nicholas V confided to his care the sick in the celebrated convent of Ara Caeli. With his tongue he often cleansed the wounds of the sick. He miraculously healed many with oil from the lamp which burned before a picture of the Blessed Virgin or with the sign of the Cross.
- Meditate on the fact that in order to walk the Christian path you must always be counter-cultural, for the world follows the broad, level and easy roads, and resolve to bear patiently the next time someone misunderstands you or even ridicules you because you do not conform to this world (pray for that person); Pray for the virtue of humility which we must have if we are to reach our "enemies".
St. Stanislaus Kostka
The son of a Polish senator, St. Stanislaus was first privately educated at the family castle. He later attended the Jesuit college in Vienna, where he set a holy example for all. While at the college, Stanislaus suffered from a serious illness. St. Barbara and two angels appeared to him and he seemed to be given Holy Communion in the vision (either by St. Barbara or by the angels). Also, Our Lady visited him and told him that he would recover and become a Jesuit. The Jesuit provincial in Vienna was too afraid of making Stanislaus's father angry to admit Stanislaus to the Order, so the saint walked to Augsburg and then Dillingen, a total of 350 miles, and there appealed to St. Peter Canisius, the Jesuit provincial of Upper Germany. St. Peter Canisius took him in, and after three weeks, sent Stanislaus to Rome to see St. Francis Borgia, who was general of the Jesuits. In Rome, Stanislaus became a Jesuit at the age of 17, much to the dissatisfaction of his father. His devotion to the Eucharist was apparent to all, since he went into ecstasy after receiving Communion. St. Stanislaus became ill again and died only nine months into his novitiate.