A Bouquet from the Spiritual Garden of Mother Cabrini

The lovable personality of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini and her holy zeal are beautifully reflected in her letters, of which, thank God, there are an abundance. And no wonder, when we consider the long journeys she undertook in her life as an apostle, and how she constantly and affectionately tried to remain close to her large family of spiritual children by correspondence.

Desiring for ourselves and for our readers, therefore, to be adopted at least in spirit into that same family of our American saint, we have chosen here from her letters a lovely bouquet of thoughts and counsels, which we may appropriate to ourselves as if sent to us by Mother Cabrini, now on her longest journey. -Ed.

The world from an apostle’s point of view

“How far the world is from Him Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, is better understood by one who has to travel, so to speak, from one end of the world to the other.”

A mother’s concern for her children

“When I left you last Wednesday, I tried to think that I was going as far as Milan, and would there­fore remain near you. But in Milan, when I was about to under­take such a long journey across the ocean and leave you for a long time, I felt overwhelmed. Relief came when I remembered the promises made by each one of you, to study to become true brides of Christ and worthy Mis­sionaries of His Sacred Heart.”

Store up your treasures in heaven

“My dear daughters, be purely disinterested, be detached from all things and all persons, and also from yourselves…. You will become like a great ocean, be­cause the pure soul is capable of great things…. The soul full of earthly ties, full of attachments, is always narrow, very small, understands little, is pusillani­mous, frequently dejected, and is never able to throw itself into the immensity of Divine Service.”

Leaders of heresy hinder men from the way of salvation

“But if these people (that is, men of goodwill) wish to enter the true fold, the pastors, who are not real pastors but mercenaries, are not of the same mind . . . These do not want to become Catholics and to unite themselves under the banner of truth where­in alone there is true salvation.”

Natural goodness is not sufficient

“In fact, of what avail is it, chil­dren, if Protestants lead naturally pure, honest lives, yet possess virtues which lack the interior impulse of the Holy Ghost? They may well say, ‘We do no harm, we lead good lives.’ But, if they do not enter the true fold of Christ, all their protestations are in vain, because a really good life is that which is so formed and ordered as to lead to the Way that is Blessed and Eternal.”

True charity is giving the gift of Faith to unbelievers

“Do not be afraid of offending those who approach us, or of being importunate when speak­ing the truths of our Faith.”

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

Hope for a prodigal son

“In other countries they speak of nobility and courtesy. In London they practice it. In one shop where we were unable to get a trunk, the manager had us ac­companied by one of his clerks and gave him instructions to help us to get what we wanted. Similar examples I could cite by the hun­dreds. This is how they treat sisters in England. And God, Who considers as done to Himself whatever is done to His servants, will bless this nation and give it the grace of entering into the One True Church.”

The Treasure of the Eucharist

“Oh, if everyone understood what a treasure we have in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, what greatness, richness, sweetness, and joy they would possess! But to draw down the mercy of God on the earth, so that all may join the Holy Catholic Church, the Tree of Life, and be saved, what can we do, we Missionaries?”

The privilege of the Cross

“The science of suffering is the science of the saints. Let us re­joice when an unexpected cross visits us, because these are the precious fruits of the mystical vine, destined to produce inestimable merits unto Eternity. Then, when you have suffered, dear daughters, do not go round sigh­ing, as one who knows not the privilege of the Cross, but raise your eyes and smile sweetly at suffering, which is like a beautiful country white for the harvest. She who knows how to gather copious sheaves will receive a large re­ward.”

Patriotism the companion of piety

“He who is faithful to God is faithful to his country and to his family, and the more the fear of God animates the citizens of a country, the greater and the more respected will the nation itself be.”

Test of fidelity

“When things are easy, every­thing appears to smile, but diffi­culties prove where there is fidel­ity and constancy.”

Be, therefore, a silent saint

“Walk upon thorns without being noticed, and rejoice in being humiliated.”


On Our Lady’s Birthday

“Happy are those who love Mary . . . She is the Dove of Paradise, and in Her conception She crushed the head of our infernal and de­ceitful enemy. . . . Having cor­responded faithfully with grace, She became the most wonderful prodigy of celestial virtue, and surpassed in sanctity all the angels and saints.”

Noblesse oblige

“We have occasion to feel great sorrow in seeing men who, after abandoning the Catholic religion, after having rebelled against Jesus Christ, reach the precipice of atheism, pantheism, and ma­terialism. . . . We are the Children of God; let us try not to degener­ate from such a high and sublime dignity.”