The yer 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy in 1861. Many special events marked the event. One that was particularly significant for the Cabrinian Family was the exhibit on “Women who contributed to Italy”. Mother Cabrini was honored as one of the more than 150 women who had made a significant contribution to Italy. Various MSCs and Cabrinian laity from Rome, Milan, and Codogno visited the exhibit at the Vittoriano Museum in Piazza Venezia in Rome. Guided by Professor Lucetta Scaraffia, the exhibit focused on those feminine figures noteworthy not only in the fields of art, culture, literature, thought and science, but also women who contributed to the emancipation of women. Dr. Scaraffia passionately illustrated the accomplishments of Mother Cabrini. Dr. Scaraffia spoke of Mother Cabrini not just as a promoter of social and moral development, but also as a saint who showed women their destiny in the fields of social-cultural equality and also in their fundamental human and Christian role in the plan of God for a more just society. Dr. Scaraffia spoke of Mother Cabrini’s substantial contribution to the field of education and her great works of charity. For Dr. Scaraffia, Mother Cabrini is the perfect model of feminine emancipation. Naturally, the exhibit showed the importance of Mother Cabrini’s contribution in the history of Italian immigration. Several objects belonging to Mother Cabrini and loaned to the exhibit by the Cabrini Museum of Codogno and of Mother’s Family Home in Sant’Angelo, Lodigiano, were included. On exhibit were her suitcase, her certificate of American citizenship, the original copy of the Rule translated in English, the Tabernacle that she carried with her on her voyages, the moving letter written to her by the prisoners in Sing-Sing, New York, a guidebook to the United States for 1889, a book that Mother used to make note of her travel companions, the stores, the offices, the addresses and other information she would need for her travels and work in the US.
The MSCs who viewed the exhibit were particularly proud to see how Mother Cabrini seemed to preside over the other great women featured in the exhibit and over all the different photographs and meaningful objects that were included. At the present time, the exhibit “The Women who contributed to Italy” has been transferred to the southern part of Italy in the Ursino Castle of Catania. After Catania, the exhibit will travel to Chiavari and Isernia, other cities in Italy.
Text by Sr. Maria Barbagallo, MSC from “Together on the Journey” Vol 4 no. 1 April 2012