a photo of mountains

Contemplating Mary

Mother Cabrini’s profound, tender relationship with the Virgin Mary permeates the letters she wrote. She considered Our Lady of Grace the foundress of the order and frequently encouraged the Missionary Sisters to imitate her. “She is lovable, love her,” she urged, “She is sublime and glorious, praise her. She is benign and merciful, appeal to her…”

Mother Cabrini Sees God in His Creation

This intimacy was coupled with a keen appreciation of nature and her awareness of God’s presence through it. Her letters while traveling are a mix of personal adventures, vivid descriptions of local people and glorious scenery, and spiritual encouragement to the Sisters. Many of these letters speak of Mary at length.

One of Mother Cabrini’s longest missives was penned during her two-month trip from Panama to Buenos Aires in 1895. Spanning 30+ pages, this letter provides ample evidence of Mother Cabrini’s good humor and gentle heart. In the excerpt below she speaks of the Mother of God with warmth and eloquence. It was written while crossing the Cordigliera.

Excerpt From a Letter to the Sisters

“When our frugal supper was over we took some air under the glow of a very brilliant moon. The mountains seemed to touch the sky and seemed covered with a blue mantle by which they seemed to be lifted in a sublime ecstasy. The earth had the color of the sky and the two appeared to be one.  The mountain tops, which were spotted with a darker shade of blue, gave us the idea of marvelous clouds going to greet their laughing queen [Rev. 12:1].

“And in the moon that night, truly we really seemed to see represented the beauty of our heavenly Queen, our Mother Mary, Pulchra ut luna [beautiful as the moon], who came to console us with her motherly gaze.

“Whoever works and sweats in the vineyard of the Lord from morning to night is well remunerated if, at the end of the day, she receives only one loving glance from her who, after God, is the joy of the blessed in heaven.

“We wanted to prepare our points for prayer the next day, but they seemed to be prepared spontaneously for us. As we looked at the moon and the sky which seemed to envelop us, we seemed to hear Mary’s sweet, soft voice blending with the most melodic voice of our dear Jesus, enrapturing us in an ecstasy of love. We seemed to see the purity and holiness of Mary and the pleasure of God in her.

“Oh what mildness, sweetness and joy there is in contemplating Mary, and seeing in her our most beloved Jesus! But night was approaching and we needed to get some rest, even though we seemed to feel no need because of the air that filled our lungs so well. We abandoned ourselves to the care of our good Mother… happy and peaceful, we headed toward the shacks on the far side of the mountain.”

Categoryletters, News
© 2015 St. Frances Cabrini Shrine.
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