Who Is St. Frances Cabrini, America's 1st Saint Now Celebrated in Colorado on What Used to Be Columbus Day?

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Cabrini Day replaced Columbus Day in Colorado as of March 2020, but who is St. Frances Cabrini? She was the first American saint, according to experts.

Inside Edition Digital visited the St. Frances Cabrini Shrine in New York City to get a better understanding of who she was.

Mother Cabrini was originally from Italy but came to America to work with immigrants in 1889, building schools and orphanages and establishing hospitals. It was a peak time in the U.S. for immigration.

Over the course of 34 years, she opened 67 different institutions across the country.

“All of these orphanages and schools had business contracts. She knew how to read a contract and we're talking an age when women were not doing that,” Julia Attaway, Executive Director of the Saint Frances Cabrini Shrine in New York, told Inside Edition Digital. “She knew how to drive a hard business bargain, without being mean about it. She was just firm and straight to the point.”

Attaway added that Mother Cabrini honored the humanity of every person she met. Her legacy is vastly different from that of Christopher Columbus, who was responsible for enslaving countless people in the West Indies and nearly wiping out the Taino people.

It’s because of that history that Colorado made the switch.

“I don't think you have to be of the Catholic faith to learn from Mother Cabrini. What everyone can learn from her is that you start with love.”


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