“What did Frances Cabrini and Elizabeth Seton have in common? Both fit the criteria given by Pope Benedict XVI for “new evangelizers.” They both “had the experience of being healed by God, through Jesus Christ,” and they both overcame hardships and profound sorrow finding joy in Christ.”
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson dedicates his weekly column to these two great Catholic women.
“I’m writing today about two women from very different backgrounds who ended up being saints — women who overcame extraordinary obstacles and accomplished many amazing things. The two saints are Elizabeth Ann Seton, born in 1774 to Protestant parents of high position in New York City, and Frances Xavier Cabrini, born in 1850 in the Lombardy region of Italy, the 13th child of an Italian farm family.”
He continues “In spite of their very different backgrounds — one an Italian immigrant who could barely speak English when she arrived in New York at the age of 39, and the other a well-educated and wealthy socialite who became a Catholic after she was widowed at the age of 31 — these two American saints share remarkable stories. Each dealt with incredible obstacles. Each placed her full confidence in the providence of God.”
“What these two women accomplished in the years that they served as leaders of their religious communities is nothing short of miraculous. These women were pioneers, builders and “new evangelizers” at a time when no one would have expected much from them. Frances Cabrini could have returned to Italy after she encountered the prejudice and harsh living conditions of Italian immigrants in the New World. Elizabeth Seton could have chosen not to convert to Catholicism and let her Protestant family take care of her and her children in relative ease and comfort.”
See the full column “Two saints with very different backgrounds but similar accomplishments” in the St. Louis Review