Caravan Sonnet: Mother Cabrini Shrine, Peru, New York

4/26/16

Mother Cabrini Shrine, Peru, New York

A couple of weeks ago we drove out to the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Peru, New York. I had been hearing how stunningly beautiful this area was and it truly does not disappoint. The gorgeous property, the stunning views of Lake Champlain and the Vermont Green Mountains, and the peaceful grounds are all definite worth a visit to.
To get to the Mother Cabrini Shrine it is only about a 35 minute drive off of the Plattsburgh, I-87 exit in upstate New York and definitely worth the trip. It is definitely one of those hidden treasures in the Adirondack Mountains that you don't want to miss out on seeing!
Before we planned our visit I wanted to look up the history regarding the Mother Cabrini shrine and who Mother Cabrini was. It was so fascinating to learn all about this woman and the work that she did!
Frances Cabrini was born in July 1850 in a small village near Milan, Italy. As a child she was enthralled with stories of missionaries and at a young age committed herself to join a religious order. 
Unfortunately, she was in poor health so she was not permitted to join the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, under whom she had received her teaching certificate. However, at thirty years old, along with seven other women, she founded the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was known to be as resourceful as she was prayerful, as she found people who would donate to meet the needs that she had not only in financial resources but also with time, labor, and support. 
While Frances Cabrini and her sisters had a dream and plan to become missionaries in China, she was directed elsewhere after obtaining an audience with Pope Leo XIII. Pope Leo XIII told Frances to go "not to the East, but to the West" and to go to New York instead of China. Part of this direction might have been because there were thousands of Italian immigrants that had already matriculated to the United States, or it could have been for other reasons we will never know. 
Nine years after founding the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mother Frances Cabrini and her sister companions stepped onto New York soil. New York City at this time was filled with chaos and poverty and Cabrini quickly went to organizing a variety of different programs to help the poor. Cabrini organized catechism and education classes for Italian immigrants and served the many needs of the many orphans. Cabrini also established schools and orphanages despite tremendous odds that were against her. 
Two of her most famous hospitals that she established in New York City were the Columbus Hospital and the Italian Hospital. These two hospitals were later merged in the late 20th century and became known as the Cabrini Medical Center that lasted until 2008, when it was forced to close due to financial difficulties.
Over Mother Cabrini's lifetime, requests for her to open schools all over the world came to her. She spent her life not only continuing to serve the people of New York City, but also traveled throughout the United States to Europe, Central America, and South America. In her life-time she made 23 trans-Atlantic crossings and established over 67 orphanages, schools, and hospitals.
Mother Cabrini was known to work tirelessly for the cause of Christ throughout her life. One of her most famous sayings was; "I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him." 
On December 22, 1917 at the age of 67, Mother Cabrini died. Almost thirty years later, in 1947, she was canonized as a saint by Pope Pius XII in recognition of her holiness and service to the world. Three years later, in 1950, she was named the Patroness of Immigrants. 
In 1947, the Mother Cabrini Shrine was dedicated in Peru, New York. The Shrine's settings were seen as appropriate on the grounds of St. Patrick's Church. St. Patrick's church had opened in 1841 to serve the large group of Irish immigrants who had settled into the Adirondack Mountains. 
As I shared at the beginning of this post, this is a beautiful piece of the Adirondack Mountains and definitely worth the time to drive to see this beautiful land and views. Happy Tuesday friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful day!

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