St. Francis was born in Lombardy, Italy in 1850, one of 13 children. Poor health prevented her from entering the convent. She helped her parents until their death and then worked on a farm with her brothers and sisters. For six years, she taught at a girls’ school at the request of a priest. Her Bishop requested her to found the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. Pope Leo XIII urged her to go to the United States to work among the Italian immigrants, which she and six Sisters did in 1889. She was endowed with a wonderful administrative ability. That and a deep trust in God helped her found schools, hospitals, and orphanages in a strange land that flourished in the aid of Italian immigrants and children. She died in Chicago on December 22, 1917. At the time of her death, her institute had houses in England, France, Spain, the United States, and South America. Pope Pius XII canonized her in 1946, the first American citizen to be canonized.
FEAST DAY: November 13
PATRON OF: Hospital Administrators