Mother Cabrini remembered Friday on day set aside by Gov. John Hickenlooper

 

A bill to change Columbus Day to Frances Xavier Cabrini Day needs only a signature from Gov. Jared Polis to give Colorado its first paid state holiday honoring a woman.

Polis intends to make Cabrini Day official when he officially receives the bill from General Assembly, his spokesman, Conor Cahill, told Colorado Politics Thursday.

The holiday will replace Columbus Day on the first Monday each October. Colorado was the first state to celebrate the Columbus Day in 1907, long before it became a national holiday in 1937.

The state Senate gave its final approval to House Bill 1031 Tuesday to rename the holiday that for years has caused conflict and the threat of violence as those who cherish their Italian heritage have clashed with those of American Indian descent and supporters.

Some state municipalities already did away with the observance to honor the Italian explorer credited with finding the new world that became North America.

Denver and Boulder have celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day since 2016.

Known as Mother Cabrini, the woman who would become the first American citizen to reach sainthood, came to Colorado in 1902 and was famed for operating orphanages and caring for the poor.

She died in 1917 and was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

In 2017, then-Gov. John Hickenlooper set aside a day in December to honor Mother Cabrini on the 100th anniversary of her death.

The Mother Cabrini Shrine overlooking Golden and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Denver are testaments to her work in Colorado, as well.

The bill that passed the Senate Tuesday 19-15 party line vote, after passing the House last month 37-26, as a handful of Democrats voted with Republicans against the change.

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