A scene from the canonization Mass for St. Frances Cabrini at St. Peter’s in Rome on July 7, 1946

Pope Pius XII enters St. Peter’s

Mother Cabrini was declared Blessed in 1938, and became the first U.S. citizen to be entered into the Catalog of Saints on July 7, 1946. The ceremony was the first to take place after World War II.

According to The New York Times, although 50,000 admission tickets were issued, demand exceeded supply. Rome was going through a heat wave so severe that the ceremony was cut short to four hours out of concern for the Pope, who wore heavy vestments. Photographs of the high altar show candles tilting and melting from the heat.

The 75th anniversary of the canonization was marked on July 7, 2021.