Monday, February 15, 2010

Mother Cabrini

Another body preserved in a church - but under much different circumstances than Jimmy Garlick - is that of Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917). This Italian-born nun founded an institute of missionary sisters, more than one hospital, and 67 orphanages around the world. When she died in Chicago at age 67, she was interred at one of these orphanages - the St. Cabrini Home in West Park, New York. Fourteen years later, her remains were moved to the chapel at New York's Mother Cabrini High School. As part of the beatification process, her body was exhumed and examined by the Vatican. In 1946, Mother Cabrini became the 1st American to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Her sainthood was predicated on the authentication of 2 miracles: restoring sight to a blind child believed to be beyond medical help, and healing a terminally ill nun who would have died within days. Her head lies in repose in Rome, but her incorrupt body was placed under glass in the altar of the St. Francis Cabrini Shrine that the high school built in 1959 to honor her and accommodate the crowds who came to pay her homage.

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