A Vision in a Dream: Mother Cabrini

Catherine A. Brennan R.N., a nurse from Columbus Hospital, New York City, recounts her dream of December 22, 1917. That date marks the death of Mother Cabrini. The vision in the dream is of a nun being welcomed into heaven. Nurse Brennan’s account is in the Cabriniana Room collection at Cabrini College, Radnor, PA.

“While I was in training in Columbus Hospital, 19th Street, in the year
of 1917, on the 22nd of December, while sleeping during the day after
being on night duty, I had this beautiful vision in a dream.
It seemed to me I was all alone in the world; the sky was very dark;
I was attracted by a beautiful white cloud to the right of the heavens. As
I kept looking at the cloud it seemed to increase in size and then parted in
the middle. A beautiful golden stairs appeared very wide at the bottom on
which stood a nun. She began to ascend slowly, and at the top of the golden
stairs were more fleecy white clouds; which began to part and then appeared
another golden stairs which shone more brightly than the first, and became
narrow as it reached the top. I had to close my eyes as the glittering gold
seemed too strong for my sight. As I looked again towards the top of the stairs
the clouds parted and Our Blessed Lady appeared with joined hands, head held
high, and her garment was creamy white, with a pretty blue ribbon tied around
her waist, hanging with rosary beads.
Then she began to descend to meet the nun who was coming towards her
and when half-way down the golden stair, Our Blessed Lady met the nun and
turned around. She and the nun began to ascend together until they reached the
top. Realizing that they would soon disappear into the opening of the clouds
I raised my hands to heaven, and began singing Ave Maria with all my might. As
our Blessed Lady and the nun reached the top step of the golden stairs, I was
still singing Ave Maria, and they turned together a little to the left, leaned
over the clouds, looked down and smiled at me with a most beautiful look in
their eyes, which made me feel very happy, then they turned and disappeared
into the opening of the clouds and I stood on my toes trying to see into
heaven where everything seemed to glisten and shone most brightly. Then the
fleecy clouds began to close the opening into Heaven and more clouds covered
the golden stairs and disappeared and I was all alone in the darkness.
P.S. I awoke immediately and somehow I disturbed the nurse who was
sleeping in the same room with me, as we were both on night duty. This was
around four o’ clock in the afternoon and she asked me what troubled me. I told her about my dream.
I also told Mother Palmira, who took care of the nurses’ dining room. At eight o’clock that evening I was
told by one of the Sisters Columbus Hospital that Mother Cabrini had died
in Chicago that afternoon and she showed me her picture. The eyes were those
I had seen in my dream. Later when the body was brought from Chicago to New
York, and I saw Mother Cabrini laying-in-state, I was fully convinced that
it was the nun I had seen on the golden stairs ascending into heaven.
No pen on earth can describe the heavenly beauty of my lovely dream.”

Catherine A. Brennan R.N.,
Graduate of Columbus Hospital, New York City

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