From the time she was a little girl in Italy, Frances Cabrini had wanted to be a missionary sister in China. But as events turned out, she found herself heading not for China but for the United States. Thus in 1889 Mother Frances Cabrini and six other sisters set out on a creaky old ship for New York City to help the poor Italian immigrants there who often could not speak English, had no work, and were even losing their Catholic Faith.Although she had almost no money, in a few weeks Mother Cabrini and the sisters had opened up a school and an orphanage. The sisters went door to door begging for food, clothing and money. People gave generously, and Mother Cabrini opened up more and more schools and orphanages, convents and hospitals in other cities—even in Central and South America. Obstacles seemed to disappear miraculously. People were amazed and began to say Mother Cabrini was a saint, but she said that that was nonsense, and that her only secret was perfect obedience and trust in God. Years ago she had said that even the whole world was too small for her missionary desires; now it was clear that this was true. She was helping to save many souls.After many years, Mother Cabrini became a United States citizen. Then after she died in 1917, so many miracles took place that the Pope declared her a saint. Thus the little Italian girl who wanted to go to China was the very first U.S. citizen ever to become a canonized saint.