Mother Cabrini Arrives in the United States

Sister Gabriella Linati, age 24, was a novice when she was selected as one of the six Sisters to accompany Mother Cabrini to the U.S. in 1889. Her notes are our main source of what the first voyage across the Atlantic was like.

March 26, 1889    After lunch a storm arose and the sailors asked us to commend them to the Lord… We, as the other passengers, were in great trepidation. The men shouted as if crazy. Distraught women cried and wandered about in a daze.

March 27, 1889     The weather continues threatening. Our health is less vigorous. The ship has covered 397 miles in 24 hours…About 3 o’clock a great storm of wind and rain began. We had to battle seasickness all day. The cold was unbearable.

March 28, 1889    The stormy weather continues… About midday the sun came out and dissipated all the clouds. The sea became calm. We were revived…We learned that last night we had been in real danger and the sailors had battled against the storm all night.”

March 31, 1899    The day is foggy, but the thought that today we will arrive in port gives us new vigor. This morning we began to see ‘terra firma’ in the distance.”

Sr. Umilia Capietti was the oldest of the companions, age 36. From her notes we know how the voyage ended.

March 31, 1899     Finally, after twelve days of sickness and tribulation, we saw the beautiful Statue of Liberty at about 4 o’clock. Oh, how happy Mother was. I could read the joy on her face. She called us together to sing the ‘Ave Maris Stella.’

PHOTO: The Missionary Sisters in New York City, circa 1890, after three additional Sisters journeyed to the U.S. Mother Cabrini is seated in the center, handing a book to a Sister.  We unfortunately do not know which sisters are which!

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© 2015 St. Frances Cabrini Shrine.
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