NEW YORK CITY (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered remarks at a virtual Columbus Day Parade event in New York City Monday, where he unveiled a new statue to memorialize Mother Frances Cabrini.
The statue was unveiled Battery Park City, and it honors a one-time New Yorker who founded schools, hospitals and orphanages in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
“I would submit to you today that the lord works in strange ways and that this Columbus Day, the celebration of Mother Cabrini is even more important than when we announced it last year,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Today the celebration of Mother Cabrini is even more vital because of the difficulties we are facing.
“The pressure, the stress, the difficulty reveal the true character of people and of society,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We see it today. COVID has stressed each of us and all of us and it has revealed strengths and weaknesses. Under pressure, small cracks explode, but also under pressure, that’s when diamonds are formed. Saints are often formed in the crucible of adversity.
“She was trying to help new immigrants, who had no skills, no money and couldn’t even speak the language,” Gov. Cuomo said. “She came to New York at a time of Smallpox, Typhoid and TB. She was in a new country. A woman, a nun, and it was 1889. Women were not empowered. The traditional role of the nun was to serve the priest and on top of it all — Italians were victims of intense discrimination.
“She founded, remarkably, 67 schools, hospitals, and orphanages,” Gov. Cuomo said. “An entire hospital education and social system for the poor, and she did it virtually alone. Mother Cabrini had two assets, but they were powerful assets — she had her culture and her faith. Today, my friends, we face significant challenges, but we still hold dear to our culture and our faith.”
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