Last week I started a series on the set of nine stained-glass windows from Saint Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, CA. This next window honors Mother Cabrini. I hope you enjoy the series. The text that follows is from a booklet I wrote in 2000 and edited by Jim Fanning.
The history of Saint Francis Xavier Church is rooted in the life and faith of the first American saint, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini. On property owned by the religious community she founded, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, sprouted the faith community of St. Francis Xavier Parish. This window reveals the historical background of education, healing and a missionary zeal that burned bright in Mother Cabrini’s life. Within the central image of the window, Mother Cabrini is surrounded by children and adults, which speaks of her life interests in teaching the young and caring for the sick. A man on crutches focuses us on her founding of hospitals and her compassion for the infirm. A woman in native Italian dress suggests Mother Cabrini’s roots in Italy, as well as the Italian heritage of many of the founding parishioners at St. Francis Xavier. A little girl carries a bouquet of flowers, which speaks of the purity of sainthood.
Icons: Upper Left: Mother Cabrini’s Shrine on the property of St. Francis Xavier Church. Mother Cabrini prayed in this chapel, which at the time was on the hill above the church property. Upper Right: The ship on the high seas speaks of the many journeys Mother Cabrini made from Italy to various parts of the world. Travel was difficult for her, yet it bore much fruit for the United States and the Church. Lower Left: The book reflects Mother Cabrini’s love for learning and teaching, and roots her life in the Scriptures. Lower Right: St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit missionary and our parish patron, greatly influenced Mother Cabrini’s missionary zeal and spirit.