In 1946, Mother Cabrini was the first U.S. citizen to be canonized; she is the universal patron of immigrants. She was born in Italy, the youngest of 13 children, and became a schoolteacher. Denied admission to two religious orders because of frail health, she was given charge of an orphanage in Codogno. In 1880 she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart with seven of her former orphans. The order spread rapidly from northern Italy to Rome, and then in 1889 to New York City, where Mother Cabrini became famous for her work among Italian immigrants. Before dying of malaria in Chicago, she had opened schools, orphanages and hospitals around the United States, South America and Europe.