The Holy See
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Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People

Patron Saints of Migration

Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) was beatified in 1938 and canonized in 1946. She founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1880 with the intention of sending them to the missions in the East. Pope Leo XIII urged her to dedicate herself to the Italian emigrants who were going to North and South America by the thousands. Thus, her adventure began in the West, not in the East, and she dedicated herself to emigrants.
Pius XII, who proclaimed her as the "Celestial Patron of All Emigrants by God's side" in 1950, made a wonderful synthesis of her activity among the emigrants: "In many places in North, Central and South America, she founded kindergartens for the emigrants' children, opened schools for them and created public hospices for the orphans. She often visited the sick among the people who had settled elsewhere; she would console the prisoners, and with her pious heart and words, she would prepare the persons condemned to death to atone for their crimes and undergo the punishment with Christian sentiment".

John Baptist Scalabrini (1839-1905), Bishop of Piacenza, lived the drama of the exodus of migrants who,during the last decades of the nineteenth century, traveled in great numbers from Europe to the countries in the New World.
He clearly saw the need for a specific pastoral care of migrants through a suitable network of spiritual assistance. In this perspective, and giving proof of a keen spiritual insight and a concrete practical sense, he founded the Congregation of the Missionary Priests and the Missionary Sisters of Saint Charles.
He strongly supported the need for legislative and institutional instruments for the human and juridical protection of the migrants against all forms of exploitation. Today, in different situations, the spiritual sons and daughters of Msgr. Scalabrini, who were later joined by the "Secular Institute of the Scalabrinian Missionary Women", continue to give witness to Christ's love for migrants and to offer them the Gospel.
In 1998, John Paul II declared him Blessed and defined him as the "Father of Migrants".