Today is the memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first Native born American saint of the Catholic Church. She was born in New York in the year 1774 to a wealthy and prosperous Episcopalian family. In 1794, she married a young successful man by the name of William Magee Seton. They would have 5 children together. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he lost his fortune and eventually his health. They traveled to Italy to find a cure for his physical ailments, but in the end, he died while living in Italy.
During her time in Italy, she became familiar with Catholicism through some friends and eventually made a Profession of Faith in the Catholic Church on March 14, 1805. Her family and friends back home were completely opposed to her becoming Catholic, but she persevered through it all. After returning home, she found herself in financial ruin because her family and friends shunned her decision to become Catholic.
After receiving an invitation from a priest, she established the first Catholic school in Baltimore in 1808. In 1809, she created a small community of religious sisters in Emmitsburg, Maryland. At first, they were known as the Sisters of St. Joseph, but eventually changed their name to the Daughters of Charity. From the moment, she became known as Mother Seton. Her small religious community grew exceptionally in 100 years going from Baltimore to New York, then to Cincinnati, Halifax, New Jersey, Greensburg, and St. Louis. From there, the community continued to spread West. They have been in my diocese, Phoenix, since 1933.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton died on January 21, 1821 in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She was beatified in 1963 by Pope St. John XXIII. On September 14, 1975, she was canonized by Pope St. Paul VI.
Below are 10 Quotes from the great American Catholic Saint known as Mother Seton –
1. Devotional Reading: “Give some time, if it is only half an hour in every day, to devotional reading, which is as necessary to the well ordering of the mind as the hand of the gardener is to prevent weeds destroying your favorite flowers.”
2. Faith, Hope, and Love: “Faith lifts the staggering soul on one side, Hope supports it on the other. Experience says it must be, and Love says let it be.”
3. Going to the Catholic Church: “I will go peaceably and firmly to the Catholic Church: for if Faith is so important to our salvation, I will seek it where true Faith first began, seek it among those who received it from God Himself.”
4. Heaven: “The gate of heaven is very low; only the humble can enter it.”
5. God’s will before our will: “’Thy will be done’ – What a comfort and support those four little words are to my soul. I have repeated them until they are softened to the sweetest harmony.”
6. Parental Advice: “If I had to advise parents, I should tell them to take great care about the people with whom their children associate…Much harm can result from bad company, and we are inclined by nature to follow what is worse than what is better.”
7. Penance: “Penance is the purifier of the soul.”
8. Suffering: “This is not a country for solitude and silence, but for warfare and crucifixion. You are not to stay in his silent agonies of the Garden at night, but go from post to pillar, to the very fastening of the Cross. If you suffer so much the better for our high journey above.”
9. Illness/Suffering: “I never experienced so keenly the presence of this beloved Lord as I have since I have been ill. It is as if I were seeing the good Jesus, Him, and His holy Mother, here, continually seated at my side, under a visible form, to console me, cheer me, and to encourage me throughout all the hours of my long and painful suffering.”
10. Serving God: “This union of my soul with God is my wealth in poverty and joy in deepest afflictions.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton…Pray for Us
Categories: Saints & Angels