The Feast of Mother Cabrini: Honoring the Patroness of Immigrants
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The Feast of Mother Cabrini: Honoring the Patroness of Immigrants

by Angel Studios | March 20, 2024

Angel Studios is shining a light on a too-little-known historical hero with Cabrini, an epic new film following Francesca Cabrini, the first American to be canonized as a Catholic saint and a pivotal figure in immigrants’ rights. The founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Cabrini’s name is spoken in reverence by countless impacted and inspired by her legacy.

This beloved movie celebrates Cabrini, as well as her incredible accomplishments that put her far ahead of her time. Angel Studios was not, however, the first to commemorate the impactful life of this venerated saint.

Individuals, families, and communities have observed the feast day of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini since 1946. Read on to discover the details of this sacred holiday, and what it means to those who love and revere this groundbreaking woman. Then, secure your tickets to Cabrini and dive into her powerful life and legacy.

The Origin of the Feast of Mother Cabrini 

For every canonized saint, the Catholic Church assigns a date for their commemorative feast. Each saint’s feast day is observed with a celebration that may include prayers, a scripture reading, service projects, and other activities.

Francesca Cabrini was beatified by Pope Pius CI on November 13, 1938. The miracle that led to her beatification was the restoration of a newborn baby’s sight after a severe medical mistake had blinded the child. 

On July 7, 1946, she was canonized as the first American saint in the Catholic Church by Pope Pius XII. The miracle that affirmed her canonization was, purportedly, the healing of an individual in the congregation who had been suffering from a terminal illness. It’s estimated that 120,000 supporters crowded Soldier Field in Chicago for a mass of Thanksgiving on the day of her canonization. 

Pope Pius XII named Mother Cabrini the “patron saint of all immigrants” in the year 1950, honoring her tireless work during her life to improve the lives of immigrants everywhere.

Cabrini Side Profile Image

When is the Feast of Mother Cabrini Celebrated?

The Feast of Mother Cabrini is celebrated each year on November 13. In the Catholic Church, each saint is commemorated with a feast on an assigned annual date. This date is typically the day of the saint’s death but may be assigned to another day based on conflicting feasts or other considerations. 

Due to Roman Martyrology, Cabrini’s feast day traditionally falls on the anniversary of her death, December 22. Since 1961, however, the Feast of Mother Cabrini has been celebrated in the United States on November 13. Not only is this date the anniversary of Cabrini’s beatification, but avoids a conflict with Advent on the date of her death. 

How is the Feast of Mother Cabrini Celebrated?

The Feast of Mother Cabrini is commemorated in a variety of ways, by communities, congregations, and believers around the world. Shrines across the globe pay homage to her incredible life and work.

Most significant of the celebrations of Cabrini’s feast, perhaps, is that which takes place annually at her shrine in New York City. The bulk of Mother Cabrini’s life’s work was located in the boroughs of New York City, and individuals who are especially affected by her legacy turn out in droves to celebrate this hallowed day each November.

In 2023, the celebration of the Feast of Mother Cabrini at her shrine in New York included five masses in four different languages, held over the space of two days. A special candlelight concert included performances of the Gregorian chants for Cabrini’s feast day, as well as performances of the music of her canonization ceremony and the music Cabrini herself sang during her life. 

Cabrini Vittoria Well Image

Discover The Woman Behind the Holiday: Watch Cabrini

Want to add a greater depth to your celebration of the Feast of Mother Cabrini this year? See Cabrini in theaters to put yourself in her shoes and learn even more about her incredible legacy. Emerge with a deeper understanding of Cabrini’s life and work, and with a firmer resolve to do good in the world.

The critically acclaimed film does not hold back in its representation of the plight of the immigrant in late-nineteenth-century America. Francesca Cabrini’s power and strength are captured in technicolor as she fights her way into rooms where she “doesn’t belong,” and audiences are enchanted by her triumphant efforts to establish orphanages, hospitals, and schools for marginalized immigrants.

Prepare for the Feast of Mother Cabrini in the best way. See the Cabrini movie while it’s still in theaters, and discover a hero of epic proportions who history has all but forgotten. The enchanting film will take you on a journey through Francesca Cabrini’s powerful life, as well as her impact on the marginalized worldwide. Help spread Cabrini’s timely message to a world in dire need of compassion and Pay it Forward; your contribution will provide a ticket to another moviegoer who would otherwise not see this impactful movie. 

Pay It Forward.
Your choice to Pay It Forward keeps Cabrini free around the world.