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See Shrine of Saint Frances Cabrini



The mummified relics of an American missionary.

The first American to be canonized has her remains and wax effigy on display in Washington Heights.

A Catholic Italian missionary who came to New York in the late 19th century to work with Italian immigrants, Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini started schools and hospitals in nine countries. Cabrini died of dysentery in 1917 and was canonized in 1938 as the patron saint of immigrants.

Pilgrims now can see her preserved body resting in a glass case under the altar of the shrine in the northwest of Manhattan. While it is her body on display, it is a wax head peacefully at rest. Her actual head was sent to Rome for veneration.