Blessed Mary Frances Schervier founded the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in 1845. The sisters were sent to the U.S. to minister to German immigrants, and she herself visited the U.S. on two occasions. She was beatified in 1974 and her cause for canonization is being assisted by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. (Public Domain/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Dec. 15

The daughter of a wealthy German manufacturer, 13-year-old Frances began running their household when her mother and older sister died. To help the poor, she sold expensive gifts from her grandfather, the Austrian emperor.

She became a Franciscan tertiary, and in 1845 founded the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor. Mother Frances sent sisters to Cincinnati to assist German immigrants. She visited the U.S. in 1863 when she ministered to wounded Civil War soldiers. Her community also cared for victims of the Franco-Prussian War.

She visited the United States one more time in 1868, when she attended the dedication of the new location of the St. Elizabeth Hospital in Covington, Kentucky, staffed by 12 sisters of her congregation.

She died in 1876 and was beatified by Pope St. Paul VI in 1974. Because a potential miraculous hearing that could lead to her canonization took place in Cincinnati, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has been involved in her cause.