Today big celebration in the Cabrinian family! In fact, on July 15, 1850, 172 years ago, Mother Cabrini was born. Then a short portrait about her done by Sister Maria Barbagallo in 1992 and a card from the Guadalupe Province. We also share with you greetings from the Cabrinian Lay Missionaries of Argentina and the Santa Francesca Cabrini Association, the Youth Group “Looking to the Future” of Palma di Montechiaro.
Coming from Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, he was significantly and overwhelmingly present in his time but at the same time in a humble, poor way, absolutely devoid of propaganda, official recognition and rhetoric. Her very rich personality can be expressed in a passionate activity on behalf of the poor, the suffering, the young, the children to respond to the dramatic situation of the times, especially of her time I cite as a list the great migration of Europe to the Americas, wars, famines and from the social point of view the exploitation of workers and the exploitation of women; all things that struck Mother Cabrini’s heart tremendously. Her response was swift, effective, concrete, suffering because the poor, the sick, the suffering could not wait for political solutions, bureaucratic paperwork, national and international level responses taken at the table. The cry of the poor struck Mother Cabrini’s sensibility so strongly that every obstacle that overlapped her industriousness and difficulties had to be overcome at all costs.
She was not a superwoman, she was a stupendous woman whose femininity was the culminating mediation to sense and act for the needs of others, to promote works that were lacking or insufficient, to inspire hope and life, to defend the rights of the weakest. In many things it takes women. Thus arose schools, orphanages, hospitals, care centers, foster homes, works as different as every need is different in different societies. She traveled months and months in conditions that you can imagine, 110 years ago, she traveled months days on foot by train by boat by horse in a carriage to seek and find her favorites the poor the marginalized of every social class; however, the apostolic force that animated her and the prodigious activity she carried out should not lead us to think that it was the effect of the gift of miracles. Yes Mother Cabrini performed miracles but not in the sense that we understand. We often think that saints do everything simply. Push the button – Mother Cabrini felt the weight of her own frailties both physical and spiritual. She experienced perplexity, inner struggle, contradiction, setbacks, illness and misunderstanding by others especially those who should have helped her most; she felt the pain of injustice and wickedness she felt the weariness of every day as we do but it was the experience of God’s spirit that tempered her to help and console her because if it is true that the price of free gift to others many times is conflict and contradiction it is also true that the salary is the great consolation of the spirit an inner light that fills people with imagination of strength and creativity therefore when mother cabrini felt immersed in god’s project, god’s project for humanity which is to see all people as brothers then she thought of nothing else she set out to promote life against every threat of death, she was drawn in an extraordinary way to this force by this energy which was the heart of Jesus. What did Mother Cabrini do? It is a very simple thing she was contemplating the heart of Jesus. How did she do that? She would read the gospel and understand from the gospel the desires the feelings the preferences of Jesus.
What did she do what did Jesus think and at this school she learned how to do what Jesus would do so she discovered that he loved the poor he sought out sinners he favored the marginalized the abandoned the bewildered and he tried to accomplish with his human frailty these things. This was the energy this was the light that illuminated his whole life and this is the light that illuminates us too that makes us warm to this fire that shows us the path an ancient path mind you because all saints all Christians have always wanted to do this but it is an ever new path the path of solidarity of perseverance and it is this difficult because an act of love we can all do it but that of making constant acts of love and perseverance out of life even when they cost this is the difficult thing it takes the holy spirit to help us and this commitment given to others with joy and optimism in the frontiers of human pain to proclaim hope in God and proclaim that God is love, God loves us, proclaiming it with tangible signs not just saying it but doing love because in every concrete sign of solidarity in every act of love towards the other and she in this case towards the sick the marginalized in these signs there is the love of God the handicapped the lonely the drug addict there is the sign that God is present. Mother C based her life solidly in Jesus then in a sense of belonging to a group; alone even the greatest saints had difficulties but when there is a family that supports us accompanies us with whom we can share our experience of God it is much easier and then by embodying his inner strength that came to him from God by embodying it in works in even difficult institutions so that works the institution has a quality a style has an evangelical meaning; when he felt fragile and felt many times fragile like us he would say all I can in the one who comforts me and when he feared losing main goal the ideal he would say all to the greater glory of God.
History of Italian Emigration – Conference 1992 – Talk by Sister Maria Barbagallo
We also share the famous ritual of the flight of doves in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, Mother Cabrini’s hometown.