Thursday, November 13, 2008

Celebrating an American Saint

Today we celebrate the feast of the first saint who was an American citizen. Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini came to the U.S. and, in spite of enormous obstacles and difficulties, managed to found 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. Wow! And sometimes it seems like a great accomplishment for me just to make it to 6:30 a.m. Mass!

Reading even a short bio of Mother Cabrini makes me shake my head in amazement. I don't think I could ever do even a fraction of what she did. And that makes me all the more grateful for the example of Pier Giorgio. He inspires me to strive for holiness on a daily basis -- not by doing great things but, as Mother Theresa once said, by doing small things with great love. Are we not the luckiest -- to have examples of such holy men and women to guide us through this often crazy world? Verso l'alto!


kestutis said...

Today is the feast of Saint Cecilia. So I am thinking about her statue in Trastevere. Is this how her body really looked like when her grave was opened about 1300 years after she died? Unbelievable!! But then I remembered what was being said about the body of Pier Giorgio.
Almost more unbelievable, but just a simple fact is what Adrienne von Speyr wrote about Cecilia in her "Book of All Saints". And wrote just about 50 years ago. She seems to have known Cecilia very very deeply and very personally; better than any of Cecilia's friends of her times.
Do you know Adrienne? She was born one month after Luciana Frassati; 200 miles to the North?

Chris said...

The statue of St. Cecilia is probably my very favorite. I loved going to the basilica in Rome and praying there. I brought back a beautiful replica of that statue and find it very inspirational. Did you know that the headquarters for Pier Giorgio is right behind the basilica in Trastevere?
I have heard of Adrienne von Speyr but that's about it.

kestutis said...

Adrienne von Speyr (1902 - 1967), was a Swiss medical doctor and a Christian mystic. Raised a Reformed Protestant, she entered the Catholic Church in 1940; 28 of her books are available at the Ignatius Press (San Francisco), 48 at Amazon. The English translation of her "Book of All Saints" just came out in April.