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Ebeth Weidner reviews the Angel Studios movie about Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, noting its focus on her tenacity and hard work.

It’s beyond me to speak about a woman, a stranger in a new and vast country, making her mission known and a reality, in a man's world. But I'm going to.

My mother (we lost her over a year ago and I miss her terribly) was a banker. She went from a housewife to a teller and worked her way up the ladder to become a branch manager of a credit union in Birmingham, Alabama in the late 70s. She would tell me that she had to "work three times harder than a man does to break even in this man's world." She believed it wholeheartedly, too. I also had a taste of that reality in a few of my jobs, but my mother was a fighter with Irish blood in her veins and rose to heights I was in awe of.




As for Cabrini, the movie about the life of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini: Some, I have heard, complained that there was no mention of God in the movie. However, I thought it was all over the movie in every word she spoke, every child she hugged, every tear she shed, and every ounce of love she had for her people and the children. The fact that she never spoke of God when being confronted with the evil of the authorities, mayors, senators, magistrates, bishops, cardinals, and even the Pope has a simple yet real basis: she was always confronted by men.

Menin high places in those days, and even in these days, did not relate to a female, much less a religious woman thumping a Bible. No, no, they had their own deity, and it was not the Creator of our world, our Almighty God! She had to relate to them on their level and goodness gracious, she did!! As the mayor said to her, "Too bad you are a woman; you'd make a good man." Of course, I will not give away her response, but it was succinct and as good as Rhett Butler's.




Time after time, Mother Cabrini found herself at an impasse, but quickly on her feet she made her points into unavoidable positions that could not be ignored by these men of influence. She knew that starting a mission, the funding would come. At one point she said, “If the mission of announcing the Lord’s resurrection to his apostles had been entrusted to Mary Magdalene, it would seem a very good thing to confide to other women an evangelizing mission.” 

The movie could very well have put skin on Mother Cabrini again and show the world what one woman could do to change the world. She made a significant impact in the world with all the missions, hospitals, schools, and orphanages she started all over the world. She had to have changed lives, not only the children, but the men she had to press and press for help and support. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini made history as a woman who was determined, strong-willed, and stubborn. My youngest daughter is a very strong willed, stubborn individual as a young adult now. I know what that looks like.




Always concerned at what Hollywood would do, especially to a Catholic-themed movie, I went with four of the ladies in my prayer group. I am the token Catholic, but they have accepted me as their sister in Christ. They all loved it as much as I did. Of course, I was enjoying the timeless views of the Vatican, Rome, all the religious garb, and Swiss guard. As a Catholic, I am proud to be part of the same faith that St. Frances Cabrini was driven by. Every turn she made was Catholic, Christian, and God-guided. Please run, don't walk, to see this movie! (Hopefully you can get popcorn free, but only if the theater is running a promotion.)


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Copyright 2024 Ebeth Weidner
Images: copyright 2024 Angel Studios, all rights reserved.