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Filipinos in New York honor immigrants’ patron saint

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Filipinos gathered at the Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini on Nov. 15 to celebrate the life of the Italian-born saint who migrated to the United States and became the patron saint of immigrants. (Photo: Kris Bayos)

NEW YORK CITY, Nov. 19, 2015 – Filipinos gathered at the Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini here last Sunday to celebrate the life of the Italian-born saint who migrated to the United States and became the patron saint of immigrants.

Overseas Filipino workers, led by the wife of Consul General Mario Lopez De Leon, Eleonor, attended a Filipino Sunday Mass on the feast day of Mother Cabrini which was presided by newly ordained Fr. Adolfo Novio, a Filipino priest under the Archdiocese of New York.

In his homily, Novio joked that Mother Cabrini must be exhausted in interceeding for the prayers of immigrants these days because of the upcoming presidential elections in the United States.

Anti-immigrant sentiments

Among other presidential candidates with strong stands against illegal immigrants, businessman Donald Trump said he is keen on getting rid of illegal immigrants if he wins the race next year.

“Hindi na nagpapahinga sa langit si Mother Cabrini para mabigyan tayo ng papel (Mother Cabrini must have been sleepless in praying and interceeding so that our immigration documents would be processed,” Novio said, eliciting laughter among Massgoers.

Despite this, Novio urged Filipino immigrants who are still struggling to maintain a legal identity to stay in the United States to pray for Mother Cabrini’s intercession.

Powerful intercessor

“I have heard a lot of testimonies from people who were blessed with miracles. With the intercession and prayers of Mother Cabrini, naayos mga papel nila (their documents were processed),” he said.

Overseas Filipino workers, led by the wife of Consul General Mario Lopez De Leon, Eleonor, attended a Filipino Sunday Mass on the feast day of Mother Cabrini which was presided by newly ordained Fr. Adolfo Novio, a Filipino priest under the Archdiocese of New York. (Photo: Kris Bayos)

Data from the Department of Foreign affairs show there are at least 10 million Filipinos residing and working overseas. According to the Philippine Consulate in New York, there are 3.5 million Filipinos in the United States alone.

To recall, Trump said he plans to deport 11 million illegal immigrants in the US should he win the 2016 presidential elections.

Mother Cabrini founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to care for the poor children in schools and hospitals in Italy. In 1889, she brought six nuns when she migrated to the US where she built orphanages, hospitals, and schools to care for and serve the needs of Italian immigrants until she died on Dec. 22, 1917. (Kris Bayos / CBCPNews)


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