Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (July 15, 1850 – December 22, 1917) also called Mother Cabrini, was the first American citizen to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
Cabrini was born in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Lombardy, the youngest of thirteen children of Agostino Cabrini and Stella Oldini who were farmers. Two months premature, she remained in delicate health throughout her 67 years. As a young girl, Francesca was taken care of by her older sister Rosa, because her mother was 52 when Maria Francesca was born.
At thirteen, she was sent to Arluno to study under the Daughters of the Sacred Heart at the Normal School, and in 1868, at 18 she was certified as a teacher. Four years later she contracted smallpox. When she tried to enter into the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, Mother Giovanna Francesca Grassi refused admission, even though she saw potential in her, because of her frail health. She said, "You are called to establish another Institute that will bring new glory to the Heart of Jesus." She was rejected by the Canossians as well. Instead, she supported her parents until they died and helped the family on the farm. She taught at a private school that was founded by a fellow sister in Sant’Angelo. In 1871, she became a public school teacher in a nearby village at the request of her pastor.