About Cabrini

Film Synopsis

From Alejandro Monteverde, award-winning director of 𝘚𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘍𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘰𝘮, comes the powerful epic of Francesca Cabrini, an Italian immigrant who arrives in New York City in 1889 and is greeted by disease, crime, and impoverished children. Cabrini sets off on a daring mission to convince the hostile mayor to secure housing and healthcare for society's most vulnerable. With broken English and poor health, Cabrini uses her entrepreneurial mind to build an empire of hope unlike anything the world had ever seen.

Logline

Based on the true story of one woman’s fight for the equality, health, and happiness of immigrant orphans.

Tagline

The world is too small for what I intend to do.

Fast Facts

  • From the director, producers and writers of Sound of Freedom, the 16th highest grossing independent film of all time. Sound of Freedom came in #10 in the US box office and made over $240 million worldwide

  • Starring Academy Award nominated and Tony award winning John Lithgow. Lithgow is best known for "The World According to Garp" (1982), "Terms of Endearment" (1983), "3rd Rock from the Sun" (NBC, 1996-2001), and "Dexter" (Showtime, 2006-2013).

  • Cabrini also stars Academy Emmy nominated actor David Morse

  • Cabrini is the first biopic about the Patron Saint of Immigrants

  • Francesca Cabrini was born in northern Italy in 1850. She and six of her Missionary Sisters set off for New York City in 1889.

  • Cabrini had aquaphobia. Cabrini nearly drowned as a child, which spurred her fear of water. However, she overcame it as an adult when she made 23 transatlantic trips to do missionary work around the world

  • Mother Cabrini became a naturalized citizen in Seattle Washington on October 9, 1909

  • She was canonized in 1946 by Pope Pius XII and became the first American citizen to be named a saint. 

  • Four years later Cabrini was given the title of Patroness of Immigrants.

  • She died in Chicago on December 22, 1917 at the age of 67 of chronic endocarditis. 

  • Over the course of 34 years she established an astonishing 67 hospitals, orphanages, and schools. Her energy was fueled by an intense focus on serving Jesus in whatever he asked of her and her legacy still stands today.

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About the Cast

Cristiana Dell'Anna

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Cristiana Dell'Anna

Francesca Cabrini

Cristiana Dell’Anna was born in Naples, Italy, to Lidia Albero, a school teacher and Ettore Dell’Anna, a surgeon. Second of three children, she was expected to follow her father’s footstep and become a doctor, but her call for acting pushed her to follow her dreams and move to London at the age of 20 to study drama at the highly acclaimed Drama Studio London (DSL).

Bilingual since the age of 10, she began her acting career in London, debuting on stage in an English adaptation of the famous Italian play “A Woman Alone” – a fringe production that earned her the attention of London’s Time Out Magazine. When they were both graduating students, Dell’Anna was given the lead role in Moths – the award winning first short film by acclaimed director Rose Glass (Saint Maud). Before moving back to Italy to start shooting the HBO Max hit series, “Gomorrah,” Dell’Anna also appeared in “Third Contact” a critically acclaimed psychological thriller that had its world premiere at the BFI IMAX in 2013. Her role as ‘Patrizia’ in Gomorrah – streaming on Amazon Prime in the US and Canada – has brought her international success, the series being sold to 190 countries around the world.

Her latest Netflix movie “Toscana,” in which she plays the female lead, was the most watched film in the world for two consecutive weeks at the end of March 2022. In 2021, she played ‘Luisa De Filippo’ opposite Tony Servillo, as ‘Eduardo Scarpetta,’ in “The King of Laughter,” directed by Mario Martone. For her portrayal of a fragile woman in love with a man who would not legally recognize their children, she was nominated for a David di Donatello Award as Best Supporting Actress. Dell’Anna won the Ciak d’Oro award in 2022.

She also appeared in Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar nominated film “The Hand of God.” Initially her role, although just a cameo, was written for an older woman, but when Paolo Sorrentino saw her, he insisted on having her in the cast and changed the schedule to meticulously accommodate her aging through the schedule of film.

Just recently, her talent did not go unnoticed by famous casting director Denise Chamian, who thought her perfect for the lead role in the up-coming US independent feature “Cabrini.” In “Cabrini,” Dell’Anna stars on the big screen across the world as an Italian nun who fought for equal rights in the New York of the late 1800s. The film, which boasts a stellar international cast, also stars John Lithgow and David Morse. It focuses in on female empowerment and on the very contemporary issues of immigration and assimilation.

Upcoming, Cristiana will star in the Italian Netflix series “Storia della mia Famiglia.” Written by Filippo Gravino and Elisa Dondi, and directed by Claudio Cupellini, the drama follows a man on the last day of his life.

John Lithgow

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John Lithgow

Mayor Gould

If "born to the theater" has meaning in determining a person's life path, then John Lithgow is a prime example of this truth. He was born in Rochester, New York, to Sarah Jane (Price), an actress, and Arthur Washington Lithgow III, who was both a theatrical producer and director. John's father was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, where the Anglo-American Lithgow family had lived for several generations.

John moved frequently as a child, while his father founded and managed local and college theaters and Shakespeare festivals throughout the Midwest of the United States. Not until he was 16, and his father became head of the McCarter Theater in Princeton New Jersey, did the family settle down. But for John, the theater was still not a career. He won a scholarship to Harvard University, where he finally caught the acting bug (as well as found a wife). Harvard was followed by a Fulbright scholarship to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Returning from London, his rigorous dramatic training stood him in good stead, and a distinguished career on Broadway gave him one Tony Award for "The Changing Room", a second nomination in 1985 for "Requiem For a Heavyweight", and a third in 1988 for "M. Butterfly". But with critical acclaim came personal confusion, and in the mid 1970s, he and his wife divorced. He entered therapy, and in 1982, his life started in a new direction, the movies - he received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Roberta Muldoon in The World According to Garp (1982). A second Oscar nomination followed for Terms of Endearment (1983), and he met a UCLA economics professor who became his second wife. As the decade of the 1990s came around, he found that he was spending too much time on location, and another career move brought him to television in the hugely successful series 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996).

This production also played a role in bringing him back together with the son from his first marriage, Ian Lithgow, who has a regular role in the series as a dimwitted student.

Romana M. Vergano

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Romana M. Vergano

Vittoria

Romana Maggiora Vergano was born in Rome on November 27, 1997. She is the daughter of two physicians and she approached acting at the age of eight. As soon as she turned 18, she joined the drama school Scuola d'Arte Cinematografica Gian Maria Volonté. During her last year at high school she obtained her first part in the TV series "Immaturi" , which had Paolo Genovese in the role of artistic supervisor. While splitting her time between acting classes and night shift baby-sitting, she has played various roles for film and TV, including the young budding revolutionary Elena in "Gli Anni Belli", Michela, a tormented barista from the outskirts of Rome in the supernatural Sky Original series "Christian" and Ludovica, the sister of the main character from Amazon's first Italian Amazon Original movie "Anni da Cane". She spent the summer of 2021 between New York and Buffalo, playing a leading role in the feature film "Cabrini," where she plays a young Italian prostitute immigrated into the United States in 1890.

David Morse

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David Morse

Archbishop Corrigan

DAVID MORSE can currently be seen in the Apple+ series THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME, starring Jennifer Garner and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon. Other recent credits include Netflix’s THE CHAIR, Showtime’s THE GOOD LORD BIRD, Apple’s MORNING SHOW and HBO’s THE DEUCE. Morse has received Emmy® nominations for his roles on HOUSE and HBO’s JOHN ADAMS and has appeared in numerous television series, including Emmy-nominated ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA, HACK, TREME, TRUE DETECTIVE, OUTSIDERS, and ST. ELSEWHERE. Morse’s film credits include THE GREEN MILE, 16 BLOCKS, THE HURT LOCKER, WORLD WAR Z and CONCUSSION.. David can next be seen starring in the feature film LA GLORIA as well as the feature film CABRINI alongside John Lithgow and Christiana Dell’Anna.

A stage veteran, David received a 2022 Tony Award nomination for his second run of the Award-Winning play HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE on Broadway. Morse’s previous stint on Broadway was in the 2018 revival of THE ICEMAN COMETH, for which he also received a Tony Award nomination. His other notable stage performances include the 1984 Los Angeles production of OF MICE AND MEN; Lanford Wilson’s REDWOOD CURTAIN, in which he originated the role of Lyman; Heather MacDonald’s AN ALMOST HOLY PICTURE; the Broadway production of THE SEAFARER; the Off-Broadway production of THE UNAVOIDABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF TOM DURNIN.

Giancarlo Giannini

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Giancarlo Giannini

Pope Leo XIII

Giancarlo Giannini is an Oscar-nominated Italian actor, director and multilingual dubber who made an international reputation for his leading roles in Italian films as well as for his mastery of a variety of languages and dialects.

He was born August 1, 1942, in La Spezia, Italy. For 10 years he lived and studied in Naples, earning a degree in electronics. At 18 he enrolled in the Academy of Dramatic Art D'Amico in Rome and made his stage acting debut there. His credits included performances in contemporary Italian plays as well, as in Italian productions of William Shakespeare's plays "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Midsummer's Night Dream". In 1965 he made his television debut starring as David Copperfield in the TV miniseries made by RAI ,the Italian national TV company. He made his big-screen debut in Libido (1965), a Freudian psychological thriller. Since 1966 he has been in a successful collaboration with legendary Italian director Lina Wertmüller, who made several award-winning films with Giannini as a male lead. He appears as peasant Tonino who prepares to assassinate dictator Benito Mussolini in Love & Anarchy (1973), as a sailor in the irony-laden comedy Swept Away (1974), and as a concentration-camp survivor in the Oscar-nominated Seven Beauties (1975). He also starred as a Jewish musician arrested by the Nazis in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's masterpiece Lili Marleen (1981).

Giannini also made a reputation for dubbing international stars in films released on the Italian market, such as Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Dustin Hoffman, Gérard Depardieu, and Ian McKellen, among others. He received a compliment from Stanley Kubrick for his dubbing of Nicholson in The Shining (1980). Giannini's fluency in English and his mastery of dialects has brought him a number of supporting roles in Hollywood productions, such as A Walk in the Clouds (1995), Hannibal (2001), Darkness (2002), and Man on Fire (2004), among many others. He appears as Rene Mathis in the 21st James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), and reprises the role in the sequel, Quantum of Solace (2008).

Virginia Bocelli

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Virginia Bocelli

Lead Singer in Orphan Choir

Virginia Bocelli was born on 21 March 2012 in Italy. She is an actress, known for Cabrini (2024), DOC - Nelle tue mani (2020) and The Simpsons Meet the Bocellis in Feliz Navidad (2022).

Federico Ielapi

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Federico Ielapi

Paolo

Federico Ielapi is known for Pinocchio (2019), Quo vado? (2016) and Montebello (2022).

Patch Darragh

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Patch Darragh

Dr. Murphy

Patch Darragh graduated with honors from Juilliard and began his career playing significant roles in award-winning new plays and revivals at many of the countries top regional theaters, as well our foremost theaters both on and off-Broadway. He has accrued an extensive list of TV credits, more recently on the award winning HBO series SUCCESSION on which he played WayStar Royco board member, Ray Kennedy from Season two to Season four. Patch also had notable arcs on LAW & ORDER: SVU, MR. MERCEDES, THE LOUDEST VOICE, THE PATH, LONGMIRE, BOARDWALK EMPIRE & KALEIDOSCOPE. He's perhaps best known as the lovable Dad on the Netflix cult hit EVERYTHING SUCKS! on which he was a series regular.

On the film side, Patch can be seen in the Blumhouse features THE FIRST PURGE and CAM. He also starred in the independent films , SULLY, BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON, and CABRINI. In 2017, Darragh starred in THE DEPTHS, and won Best Supporting Actor at the Los Angeles Film Awards. Upcoming: RESENTMENT, and THE UNION (Netflix).

As a writer, Patch has developed three television pilots, including two with fellow Juilliard grad Erin Gann. Their feature BIRTHRITE wrapped principle photography in June of 2023.

Rolando Villazón

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Rolando Villazón

DiSalvo

Rolando Villazón was born on 22 February 1972 in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico. He is an actor, known for Joyeux Noel (2005), La Bohème (2008) and Live from Lincoln Center (1976).

Eugenia Forteza

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Eugenia Forteza

Sister Umilia

Eugenia Forteza is a French-Argentinean actor, opera singer, influencer, writer, and producer, based in NYC.

She has been praised for her “vibrant performances, supported by her powerful voice" (Atuvu.ca) and “exquisite phrasing, great diction and musicality” (Voce di Meche).

In 2024 Eugenia can be seen in two feature films, as Sister Umilia in “Cabrini”, directed by Alejandro Monteverde and produced by Academy Award Winner, Jonathan Sanger; and as Martina in the upcoming Colombian-American feature film “Colibrí” by Juanpedro David & Francisco Salazar. Eugenia has recently made her Carnegie Hall debut, lending her voice to the Ana Gelovani Foundation, in its inaugural gala concert in NYC. In the past season, Eugenia made a major international debut in the title role of the Singapore premiere of Britten’s “The Rape of Lucretia”, directed by Stefanos Rassios and produced by The Opera People.

Eugenia was an award winner for Best Video at the Canto Latino 2021 International Competition organized by Vocalis Consort and Fundación Cultural Armonía. She was also a Finalist for Best Singer, Best Performance and Audience Favorite in this competition. She was in the cast of the 2020 Award-Winning Fedora opera film produced by Teatro Grattacielo. Eugenia was a Winner at the 2017 Concorso Internazionale di Canto Lirico Katia Ricciarelli, where she was awarded an Opera Role Prize. Eugenia was also a Finalist in the 2018 Vienna Summer Music Festival Vocal Competition, a Semi-Finalist in the 2018 Mary Trueman Vocal Art Song Competition and a Semi-Finalist in the 2018 & 2022 Premiere Opera Foundation International Vocal Competition.

In the 2023/2024 season, Eugenia makes a role and house debut as Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana at South Orange Performing Arts Center, a debut with Marshall Opera in NYC, and concert debuts in Tallinn, Estonia and Alsace, France, as well as highly anticipated returns to Paris and Barcelona. In previous seasons, Eugenia has performed internationally in opera, concert and theatre with organizations such as National Sawdust, The Juilliard School, Chelsea Factory, Bare Opera, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Opera People, Teatro Grattacielo, BALAM Dance Theatre, Midtown Concerts, Gotham Early Music Scene, New Amsterdam Opera, Hudson Opera Theatre, New Camerata Opera, Eurasia Festival, Fairfield County Chorale, Magna Lírica, Museo Nacional de Colombia, Gramercy Opera, Concert Operetta Theatre, Barcelona Festival of Song, Una Voz Un Mundo, The International Vocal Arts Institute, Bel Canto in Tuscany, Opera on Tap, Arch Ballet, The Evening Crane Theatre, St. John’s Concert Series, Cabrini Shrine Concert Series and many more.

Eugenia holds a Master of Music from the Opera Institute at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, Summa Cum Laude, from the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She has also trained at T. Schreiber Studio, UCB, New England Conservatory, International Vocal Arts Institute, Institut Canadien d’Art Vocal, Fundación Julio Bocca, Conservatorio Beethoven and at the National Conservatory of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

She is the Founder, Host and Lead Editor of 360° of Opera, a staff writer for Classical Singer Magazine and serves as an Ambassador for the Barcelona Festival of Song, The Musical Athlete, as a Board Member for Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra and as Vice-President of the Board for Frisson Films.

Eugenia was a speaker at the inaugural Operatic Feminisms Symposium at Columbia University in March 2023. She has also taught masterclasses and workshops for Florida State University, Eastern Illinois University, Classical Singer Magazine, Vincerò Academy, Premiere Vocal Arts Institute, Teatro Grattacielo, Camerata Bardi Vocal Academy, Atelier d’Excellence, New York Dramatic Voices, The Artist’s Table and Tundi Productions.

When she is not performing or on set, Eugenia enjoys practicing yoga, going to the movies and exploring sushi restaurants around the world with her husband, award- winning writer-director, Juanpedro David Salazar.

For more information please visit www.eugeniaforteza.com and follow Eugenia on socials @fortezaeugenia

Alejandro Monteverde

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Alejandro Monteverde

Director

Alejandro Monteverde is a Mexican filmmaker, best known for his work as a director, writer, and producer on the 2023 film Sound of Freedom and the 2006 film Bella, which won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Heartland Film Festival.

Alejandro began his career as a film director with the short film The Last Goodbye in 2004, which won the Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival. He went on to direct and write several other films, including Little Boy in 2015, which was also well-received by audiences.

Alejandro’s work is known for its focus on family and faith, and he has been vocal about his Catholic beliefs. In addition to his film work, Monteverde has also been involved in philanthropic efforts, including the founding of the nonprofit organization Esperanza para los Niños (Hope for Children) in 2010, which provides education and support to underprivileged children in Mexico.

Eduardo Verástegui

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Eduardo Verástegui

Executive Producer

Eduardo Verástegui is a Mexican actor, producer, businessman and philanthropist. He began his entertainment career as a member of the Mexican pop group Kairo in the 1990s before transitioning to acting in telenovelas.

Eduardo gained international recognition for his leading role in the 2006 film Bella, which he produced with the production company he co-founded called Metanoia Films. He is also known for his humanitarian work and began a nonprofit organization called Manto de Guadalupe that aids those who don't have access to food, shelter, health care, or education.

Eduardo is the producer of Sound of Freedom and has since toured all over Mexico and beyond in an effort to partner with local government leaders, educators, law enforcement, and foundations to prevent child exploitation.

J. Eustace Wolfington

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J. Eustace Wolfington

Executive Producer

Mother Cabrini’s entrepreneurial spirit, passion and commitment to her vocation,perseverance, creativity, organizational skills, unwavering faith and love for everyone she encountered, have guided Eustace throughout his career, even naming one of his companies after her.

In 2015, Sister Mary Louise Sullivan of the MSC order asked Eustace to help complete a film on Mother Cabrini. Her persistence wore down his initial resistance and he agreed to do it on two conditions: we make a film about a great woman who just happen to be a nun and we establish a 501(c)(3) where all the net revenues earned from the film go to charity.

Eustace also was the executive producer of Bella, a 2006 American drama film co-written, co-produced and directed by Alejandro Monteverde, starring Eduardo Verastegui and Tammy Blanchard which won the Toronto Film Festival.

Leo Severino

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Leo Severino

Producer

Leo Severino, is a twenty year Hollywood veteran and a founding partner of Metanoia Films.

His producing and screenwriting debut was the acclaimed feature film Bella (winner of the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, garnering more than ten times its production budget in revenues). His subsequent films include Little Boy (winner of the Latin American Cancine Award for best picture), the wildly successful Sound of Freedom ($14MM production budget, nearing $300MM in revenues, making it one of the most profitable films in independent film history) and the soon-to-be-released Cabrini, a $34MM period piece to be distributed globally in theaters March of 2024.

Prior to producing, Leo spent three years as Director of Business Affairs for the Fox Networks Group (a division of 20th Century Fox), in charge of their National Programming and a year as an associate at the Producer’s Guild of America, where he first experienced his passion for filmmaking. Previously, Leo was an associate at one of the largest law firms in the world, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher working in Latin American corporate transactions.

Leo received his Juris Doctorate degree, with honors, from the University of Southern California Law School and degrees in Philosophy from the same institution as an undergraduate.

Jonathan Sanger

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Jonathan Sanger

Producer

Producer Jonathan Sanger has enjoyed over a 40 year successful career as both a movie and theatre producer. To date his films have received 3 Academy Awards, 21 Academy Award Nominations, a British Academy Film award and a French Cesar among numerous other awards.

Jonathan’s film producing credits include but are not limited to The Elephant Man, directed by David Lynch starring Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt; Frances, starring Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard, Without Limits, starring Billy Crudup and Donald Sutherland, Vanilla Sky, starring Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz, and The Producers—The Musical, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

He recently produced Chapter & Verse, starring Loretta Divine, Daniel Beaty, and Amari Hardwick and Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman, Kate Hudson, Josh Gad, and Sterling K. Brown. He has just completed Cabrini, an epic origin film about Mother Cabrini starring Cristiana Dell’Anna, John Lithgow, David Morse, and Giancarlo Giannini.

Among Sanger’s numerous director credits are more than 15 episodic TV shows, including Twin Peaks, Wiseguy and LA Law. He directed Code Name Emerald, starring Ed Harris and Max Von Sydow and Down Came A Blackbird starring Laura Dern and Vanessa Redgrave which was nominated for 3 Cable Ace Awards. He directed several movies of the week, wrote and directed the short film entitled Peacemaker with Lucas Haas for PBS which won the Houston International Film Festival’s first prize for Best Short Subject.

Jonathan received a BA and Masters in Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. He spent three years in the Peace Corps in South America and speaks fluent Spanish.

Rod Barr

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Rod Barr

Producer

Rod is a screenwriter best known for co-writing, with Alejandro Monteverde, 2023’s hit film Sound of Freedom, one of the highest grossing independent movies of the last decade. He also wrote the screenplay for Angel’s upcoming film epic, Cabrini.

Rod has sold numerous original scripts and adapted a wide variety of books and true-life stories for top production companies. He graduated from Princeton University, where he won numerous creative writing awards. He began his career writing young adult novels for Penguin, spent a decade creating video games, then went back to his true love: screenwriting.

Francesca Cabrini

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Francesca Cabrini

Executive Producer

Francesca Cabrini was born near Milan, Italy, on July 15, 1850. Despite being told at a young age she would never live to reach adulthood, she defied the odds and continued her mission to serve others by co-founding the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1880. In 1889, Cabrini and her sister companions immigrated to New York to help Italian immigrants face a new world.

Amidst chaos and poverty, Cabrini and her companions established schools, orphanages, hospitals, and organized religious classes throughout the United States. One of her most notable achievements includes founding the Sacred Heart Orphan Asylum for Italian immigrant children in rural West Park, New York, later renamed Saint Cabrini Home.

In 1917, she passed away in Chicago and was canonized as a saint by Pope Pius XII in 1946, and became the Patroness of Immigrants in 1950. Today, the institute that Cabrini founded continues to fulfill diverse roles as educators, nurses, social workers, administrators, and board members worldwide.