St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: A Mother for Our Times, by Mary Beth Bracy

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Image: Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill

By Mary Beth Bracy, Catholic Exchange, Jan. 4, 2023

Mary Beth Bracy is a writer who is blessed to research, publish, and speak extensively on various aspects of Catholic spirituality. …

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), whose feast day we celebrate on January 4, is truly a saint for everyone. She was a devoted wife, mother of five children, convert, and religious. The foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph–the first congregation of women religious in the United States, Mother Seton also started the first parochial school in the United States, started the first American Catholic orphanage, and was the first native born citizen to be canonized. It was St. Elizabeth’s belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament which led to her conversion to Catholicism. We need her intercession in these times to help renew our faith in our Eucharistic Lord.

Following her husband’s death, St. Elizabeth and her small children stayed with the Filicchi family in Italy. Although St. Elizabeth was not yet Catholic, she found solace praying in the family’s chapel where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved. In her writings, St. Elizabeth reflected: “How sweet, the presence of Jesus to the longing, harassed soul! It is instant peace, and balm to every wound.” She later came to believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and converted, despite rejection from her family and job discrimination in New York City. St. Elizabeth prayed that Jesus might take her heart and “lock it up forever in His little Tabernacle.”….

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