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Health Care Hall of Fame

Francesca Xavier Cabrini
Inducted in 1992

Mother Francesca Xavier Cabrini
Inducted in 1992

Mother Francesca Xavier Cabrini established 67 schools, convents and orphanages worldwide during her lifetime, and that number includes hospitals in Chicago and New York.

Born in Lombardy, Italy, Cabrini would eventually come to the U.S. under the direction of Pope Leo XIII and dedicate her life to improving the health and welfare of immigrants. While helping to improve people’s health was her life’s work, she, herself, suffered from poor health her entire life.

Speaking of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Pope Pius XII said that although she was “frail in constitution, her spirit was endowed with such singular strength that, knowing the will of God in her own regard, she permitted nothing to impede her from accomplishing what seemed beyond mortal strength.”

She first got involved with hospitals in 1892 when she found a New York-based hospital was poorly run. Cabrini made sure that the hospital would be able to meet the demands of Italian immigrants who were being denied adequate healthcare. At the turn of the century, she would move to Chicago and open a new Catholic hospital.

She was canonized in 1946.