Mother Cabrini Shrine, Golden, Colorado

Introduction

Mother Cabrini Shrine, Golden, Colorado is a shrine to Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, known as Mother Cabrini, located in Golden, Colorado, United States.

Mother Cabrini Shrine, Golden, Colorado Also Known As, Saint Frances Cabrini, dedicated her life to helping the poor, the sick, immigrants and those less fortunate. Her story is rich with determination, grit and an unshakeable faith in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Mother Cabrini loved the mountains of Colorado. The foothills west of Denver held a special attraction for her. During her journeys in 1902 to visit the Italian workers and their families in the Clear Creek, Argentine, and South Park mining districts, Frances X. Cabrini discovered a property on the east slope of Lookout Mountain owned by the town of Golden.

No reliable source of water was known to exist on the property at that time, although there were two fine barns and a springhouse built in the 1890s. In 1909–1910, she negotiated the purchase of this property as a summer camp for her charges at the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in Denver, CO.

A farming operation, with poultry, other livestock and dairy cows, was established and maintained by three of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart who set up living quarters in the loft of the larger barn. During the summer months, groups of about twenty girls, according to age, would spend several weeks at the summer camp. They enjoyed the freedom of the outdoors and recreational activities in addition to tending the animals and performing farm chores.

History of Mother Cabrini Shrine, Golden, Colorado

In 1909 -1910, Mother Cabrini Shrine, Golden, Colorado negotiated the purchase of some land in Golden to be used as a summer camp for her charges at the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in Denver, Colorado. A farming operation, with poultry, other livestock and dairy cows, was established and maintained by three of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart who set up living quarters in the loft of the larger barn. During the summer months, groups of about twenty girls, according to age, would spend several weeks at the summer camp.

All of the water needed for drinking and cooking had to be brought up to the summer camp from the stream at the bottom of Mt. Vernon Canyon. In September 1912, the sisters complained to Mother Cabrini that they were dying of thirst and there was no water to be had. She answered, “Lift that rock over there and start to dig. You will find water fresh enough to drink and clean enough to wash.” The spring, which is housed in an 8,000 gallon tank, has never stopped running. A replica of the grotto of Lourdes, France, was built over this spring in 1929 and was demolished and replaced in 1959 by the present one, built of sandstone.

It was during Mother Cabrini’s last visit to the foothills in 1912 that she and a builder, Thomas Eckrom, drew up the plans for the Stone House that would serve as a dormitory for the girls. The house was to be built of native rock. She called the sisters who were with her and said, “daughters, I dropped my cane… go back and find it. Where you find it make a sign with stones because that is where the house is to be built.”

The land was on a level spot overlooking the city of Denver. Each evening the girls would load a cart, drawn by a donkey, with stones from a nearby quarry for the next day’s building activity. The construction of the Stone House commenced in the fall of 1912 and was finally completed in 1914.

The house was used as a summer camp for the girls from the Queen of Heaven orphanage. The ground floor of the Stone House has the chapel, sleeping quarters for the supervising Sisters, a living room, an entry area with main staircase, a back staircase, and several small utility areas which remain basically unchanged. The second and third floors were open dormitory areas. Upon the closing of the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in 1967, the summer camp became a year around retreat facility, and a place for small prayer gatherings. Today, the Stone House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A spacious new Queen of Heaven Orphanage was dedicated in 1921 in Denver at 48th Avenue and Federal Boulevard. Until 1967, it was home to 160 – 317 girls each year before foster care replaced the orphanage. Upon the closing of the orphanage in 1967, the summer camp in Golden became a year-round retreat facility.

Mother Cabrini died at 67 years of age in 1917 in Chicago, Illinois. She had established 67 institutions throughout the United States and in South and Central America. Her work continues through the ministry of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Frances Xavier Cabrini was canonized on July 7, 1946, the first United States citizen to be so honored. On her last visit to the site in 1912, Mother Cabrini had gathered white stones and formed a sacred heart on the highest promontory on Lookout Mountain, overlooking the city of Denver.

In April 1948, a St. Frances Cabrini Shrine Committee was incorporated, and a 22-foot statue of Christ was mounted on an 11-foot base at the site, now known as the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, or the Cabrini Shrine. Next to the original Stone House, a convent was completed on the site in 1970 for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. It contains a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart, has an exhibit of artifacts and clothing used by Mother Cabrini, and accommodations for visitors.

In the Jubilee Year 2000, alumna of the Queen of Heaven orphanage will hold a reunion in Denver to acknowledge those sisters who gave of themselves for the girls of Queen of Heaven, and to bring national and worldwide attention to the life’s work of Saint Frances Cabrini, especially to her legacy at the Cabrini Shrine in Golden.

Francesca Saverio Cabrini

The youngest of thirteen children, Frances Cabrini was born on July 15, 1850 in a small village called S’ant Angelo Lodigiano near the city of Milan, Italy. She grew up enthralled by the stories of missionaries and made up her mind to join a religious order. Because of her frail health, she was not permitted to join the Daughters of the Sacred Heart who had been her teachers and under whose guidance she obtained her teaching certificate.

However, in 1880, with seven young women, Frances founded the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was as resourceful as she was prayerful, finding people who would donate what she needed in money, time, labor and support. She and her sisters wanted to be missionaries in China; she visited Rome to obtain an audience with Pope Leo XIII. The Pope told Frances to go “not to the East, but to the West” to New York rather than to China as she had expected. She was to help the thousands of Italian immigrants already in the United States.

In 1889, New York seemed to be filled with chaos and poverty, and into this new world stepped Mother Frances Cabrini and her sister companions. Cabrini organized catechism and education classes for the Italian immigrants and provided for the needs of the many orphans. She established schools and orphanages despite tremendous odds.

Soon, requests for her to open schools came to Frances Cabrini from all over the world. She traveled to Europe, Central and South America and throughout the United States. She made 23 trans-Atlantic crossings and established 67 institutions: schools, hospitals and orphanages.

Her activity was relentless until her death. On December 22, 1917, in Chicago, she died. In 1946, she was canonized a saint by Pope Pius XII in recognition of her holiness and service to mankind and was named Patroness of Immigrants in 1950.

Today the Missionary Sisters, their lay collaborators and volunteers work as teachers, nurses, social workers, administrators and members of institutional boards of trustees. They can be found on six continents and 15 countries throughout the world – wherever there is a need.

The Stone House

It was during Mother Cabrini’s last visit to the foothills in 1912 that she and a builder, Thomas Eckrom, drew up the plans for the Stone House that would serve as a dormitory for the girls. The house was to be built of native rock. She called the sisters who were with her and said, “daughters, I dropped my cane… go back and find it. Where you find it make a sign with stones because that is where the house is to be built.” The cane was on a level spot overlooking the city of Denver.

Each evening the girls would load a cart, drawn by a donkey, with stones from a nearby quarry for the next day’s building activity. The construction of the Stone House commenced in the fall of 1912 and was finally completed in 1914. The house was used as a summer camp for the girls from the Queen of Heaven orphanage.

The ground floor of the Stone House has the chapel, sleeping quarters for the supervising Sisters, a living room, an entry area with main staircase, a back staircase, and several small utility areas which remain basically unchanged. The second and third floors were open dormitory areas. Upon the closing of the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in 1967, the summer camp became a year around retreat facility, and a place for small prayer gatherings.

Today, the Stone House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Colorado Historical Society has granted over $138,000 to restore and renovate the Stone House. Extensive work has been done to the roof, windows, electrical system and wood work.

A Prayer for Peace of Mind

Fortify me with the grace of Your Holy Spirit and give Your peace to my soul that I may be free from all needless anxiety and worry. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to You so that Your will may be my will. Amen.

—St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

The Spring

Mother Cabrini Shrine, Golden, Colorado – the only water was in a small pond next to the spring house. All of the water needed for drinking and cooking had to be brought up to the summer camp from the stream at the bottom of Mt. Vernon Canyon. In September 1912, the sisters complained to Mother Cabrini that they were dying of thirst and there was no water to be had. She answered, “Lift that rock over there and start to dig. You will find water fresh enough to drink and clean enough to wash.” The spring, which is housed in an 8,000 gallon tank, has never stopped running. Many pilgrims, through their faith, believe the water has brought healing and peace to their lives.

The Grotto

A replica of the grotto of Lourdes, France, was built over this spring in 1929 and was demolished and replaced in 1959 by the present one, built of sandstone. Here, in the quiet atmosphere of candlelight before the Mother Cabrini altar, many come to pray and ask her intercession with the Sacred Heart and His Holy Mother. The people present their many requests and, through faith, say their prayers are answered.

Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

In 1954, a twenty-two foot statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus carved by an Italian artist, was mounted on an eleven foot base and erected above the Heart of Stones at the top of the mountain. This statue signifies the great devotion Mother Cabrini Shrine, Golden, Colorado had to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, even naming her order of Sisters in His honor. Today, the statue stands as a beacon of faith overlooking the city of Denver and is a well known landmark in the Golden, Colorado.

Heart of Stones

On her last visit to Colorado in 1912, Mother Cabrini took several sisters and a few of the children from the orphanage by horse and buggy along a cow path to the foot of the highest hill. Leaving the buggy at the base, they climbed to the top where they gathered white stones and arranged them on the mountain in the shape of a Heart surmounted by a cross; with the smaller stones, she formed a crown of thorns on the highest promontory, overlooking the city of Denver. Frances X. Cabrini dedicated the hill to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, naming it the “Mount of the Sacred Heart”. Those stones are still present there beneath a glass case and preserved for all to see.

Stairway of Prayer

In 1954, a twenty-two foot statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, carved by an Italian artist was mounted on an eleven foot base and erected above the Heart of Stones. Beginning September 11, 1954, 373 steps leading up to the top of the Mount of the Sacred Heart were placed and completed in just 67 days.

The stairway follows the path Mother Cabrini, the sisters and the children took to the top of the mountain. This stairway following the Saint’s footsteps is also symbolic of the pathway Christ took on His sorrowful way to His crucifixion and death, through the Stations of the Cross. Each station is made of stone mosaics made in Italy and depicts the suffering of our divine Lord as He gave His life for our salvation.

Mary, through the mysteries of the rosary, invites the faithful to continue the journey begun with the Stations of the Cross reminding us through recitation and meditation on important events in the life of her Son, each mystery brings us closer to the Heart of Christ. In 1955, the Knights of Columbus placed terra cotta benches along the stairway, thus allowing pilgrims to rest, pray and meditate. At the entrance to the stairway is a large crucifix.

Stained Glass Windows

The beautiful stained-glass windows just off the main chapel, depict Mother Cabrini’s life, her birth, her confirmation, her missionary vocation, the founding of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, her meeting with Pope Leo the XIII, her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the voyage to America, working with Italian immigrants, crossing the Andes, Mother Cabrini’s death, her miraculous cure of infant Peter Smith and her canonization to sainthood. The windows originally came from Villa Cabrini in Burbank, California, which was a school formerly sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Feast Day – 13th November

We celebrate the Annual Feast of St. Frances Cabrini on November 13. Her birthday is July 15 and she was cononized July 7, 1946. We always celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which is 19 days after Pentecost Sunday.

Mass Time

Weekdays

  • 7:30 am
  • Saturdays

  • 8:00 am
  • Sundays

  • 8:00 am
  • 11:00 am
  • Church Visiting Time

    Every days : 7:00 am to 4:30 pm

    Attractions Nearby

  • Coors Field
  • Sports Authority Field At Mile High
  • Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey
  • Colorado Convention Center
  • Great Divide Brewery
  • Rock Bottom Brewery
  • Cherry Creek Shopping Center
  • Other Facilities

    Cabrini Museum

    In the summer of 2014, the Cabrini Museum opened so that the life and missionary work of Saint Cabrini could be shared with visitors and pilgrims. The museum is located in the corner of Cabrini Garden in a building once known as the “pump house”. The pump house is one of the original buildings on the property at the time it was purchased by Mother Cabrini. The museum features a replica of Mother Cabrini’s bedroom, a timeline of her life and many artifacts once used by Saint Cabrini.

    Gift Shop

    Located on the first floor of the main building, our Gift Shop is filled with religious merchandise and mementos of your visit to the Shrine. Candles that can be lit in our Grotto Chapel are also available for purchase in the gift shop.

    Cabrini Gardens

    The Cabrini Garden is an area devoted to depicting the life of Frances Xavier Cabrini. The center of the garden features a statue of Mother Cabrini gently guiding two young orphans. This garden is a reminder that the property here at the Shrine was originally bought as a summer home for the girls at the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in Denver. The statue stands as a symbol of the love, compassion, concern and care Mother Cabrini and the Sisters had for the poor and the homeless, especially children.

    Rosary Garden

    Our walking Rosary Garden and its beautiful landscaping invites visitors in to walk and pray the rosary in the splendor that Mother Cabrini envisioned when she purchased this property in 1909.

    Path of the Holy Spirit

    This seating area was designed for meditation on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Located near the upper parking lot, the Path of the Holy Spirit overlooks the grotto and is a beautiful space for prayer.

    Main Chapel

    The chapel, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was completed in June of 1970. Mass is offered daily and the chapel is open to the public seven days a week.

    Sacred Heart Overlook

    A seating area designed for meditation and prayer that provides spectacular views of the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue and overlooks the Meditation Garden and the grotto.

    Contact Info

    Mother Cabrini Shrine,
    20189 Cabrini Blvd, Golden,
    Colorado 80401, United States

    Phone No.

    How to reach the Shrine

    Take I-70 west to the Morrison Exit 259, Then I-70 east to Exit 256. Follow signs to shrine.

    GPS coordinates: 39° 42′ 24.2568” N, 105° 13′ 54.5016” W

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