In 1880, Francesca Cabrini and six other young companions began the great missionary adventure and founded the Institute of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Codogno. The Codogno House began to receive hundreds of girls and orphaned children, and the workers were engaged in textile material packaging, pupils for the various levels of education, but it especially became the seminar where they formed missionary vocations. The development of her work led to many travels, to establish schools and orphanages, hospitals and missions to respond to the pressing need for Italian companies of the late nineteenth century that appeared: the massive emigration of thousands and thousands of Italians who, driven by the desire for a more dignified and secure life for their children, crossed the ocean, mainly heading to North and South America.
Although Francesca Cabrini had dreamed since childhood of devoting herself to the Missions of China, to accept this harsh missionary reality was pushed by her encounter with the Bishop of Piacenza, Mgr. Giovanni Battista Scalabrini and Pope Leo XIII, who urged her to go Not East, but West, where she would exactly find the misery of her fellow countrymen, their hopes and disappointments. She devoted himself to them as well, becoming the Mother, the Teacher, the Councillor, the friend and comforter. With her intense apostolic work, she tried to give them back the dignity of Italians and as children of God, with rights and duties, with the intention of operating the necessary cultural integration, in respect for its identity, but also of acquiring the ability of a person to enhance the values of each culture without losing their own.
The work of Francesca Cabrini became possible with the sacrifice and work of her sisters and the many people of good will, professionals, donors, volunteers that were animated by the same ideals. Francesca Cabrini understood immediately that work, sacrifice, and intense activity to achieve her mission was not enough, and that prayer, worship, and a constant union with God were, above all, necessary, and therefore prescribed to many hours of prayer to the Sisters. Mother Cabrini committed her entire life to advancing the many foundations that required adjustments, money, reconstructions, changes and requests for new foundations in favor of emigrants, that she was receiving from around the world, from Bishops and parish priests; but above all she worked for Love of the Heart of Jesus that came to all, especially for those most marginalized during that time; but she also came to turn the hearts of those responsible and those in power so that they could help bring about a more just and fraternal society. Mother Cabrini died in Chicago on December 22, 1917. On November 13, 1938 was proclaimed Blessed, on July 7, 1946 she was proclaimed a Saint by Pope Pius XII and on September 8, 1950 Saint Francesca Saviero Cabrini was declared "Heavenly Patroness of all emigrants."