Located in View of the Statue of Liberty, Memorial Honors the Heroic Legacy of Mother Cabrini, Who Dedicated Her Life to Serving Immigrants and the Needy
New Memorial Educational Website and Audio Tour Here
Yesterday, (Columbus Day) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled New York State's Mother Cabrini Memorial located in Battery Park City, just south of South Cove along the Battery Park City Esplanade. With a direct view of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, this area provides a fitting location to pay tribute to the patroness of immigrants. The Memorial was unveiled one year after the Governor first announced plans for its creation on Columbus Day of last year. The Memorial includes interpretive panels highlighting Mother Cabrini's service to Italian-American immigrants and the poor in New York including building dozens of orphanages, hospitals, and schools. The plaza is surrounded by seating and a mosaic created from stones from Mother Cabrini's birthplace of Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy.
Mother Cabrini arrived to the United States in 1889 on a mission to help Italian immigrants. While in New York, she taught at St. Joachim’s parish, the Church of Our Lady of Pompeii, and the Transfiguration Catholic Church – all in Manhattan – as well as St. Rita of Cascia in The Bronx and the Church of St. Stephen in Brooklyn. She also founded the Columbus Hospital, which was eventually named the Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan. During her lifetime, she founded 67 orphanages, schools and hospitals in New York and around the world.
Mother Cabrini was originally buried in West Park and is now interred at the St. Frances Cabrini Shrine in Manhattan, which she founded. In 1946, nearly 30 years after her death, Mother Cabrini became the first naturalized U.S. citizen to be canonized. She is recognized as the patron saint of immigrants. Several academic institutions, religious buildings and hospitals across New York are named after her.
In October 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the appointment of the Mother Cabrini Memorial Commission to oversee the creation of a statue honoring Mother Cabrini. The Commission received submissions from artists from around the world, each movingly telling the story of her life and her many contributions to immigrants in New York and worldwide.
From these submissions the Commission selected the artist team of Jill and Giancarlo Biagi to create the Mother Cabrini Memorial. The creative team included architectural and site design work by Martin Sendlewski and lighting design by Ken Farley.
"Today the lesson of Mother Cabrini is even more vital because of the difficulties that we are facing. We all know that these are challenging times, but we also know that in the book of life, it is not what one does when the sun is shining that tests our metal - it's what one does in the fury of the storm. And that's where we are today. The pressure, the stress, the difficulty revealed a true character of people and of society." Cuomo said.