Mother Seton and Servant of God Dorothy Day were radical Christians whose good deeds flowed from lives steeped in prayer—the only thing that makes loving with the Heart of Jesus in the world possible.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s last words were “Be children of the Church.” Advent reminds us that belonging to the Mystical Body of Christ does not depend on our feelings; it depends on our orientation of heart; on where we bring and put our bodies; on a relationship with Christ that is intimate beyond imagining.
Over the next four weeks, the Seton Seton will reflect on Mother Seton’s lifelong journey of Advent. Each week we’ll meditate upon how she walked the path each of us must walk and learn from her what it means to cry “Maranatha! Come, Lord!”
Mary holds for us many graces — we need only ask her for them with confidence and love.
St. Cecilia and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, two great saints separated by many centuries, call us to contemplate the beauty of God’s love, the wonders of His Creation, and the powerful effect of beautiful music on our hearts, minds, and souls.
The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a day to reflect on the gift of maternity in all its forms, and to consider the example of Mother Seton, who stepped into the hard tasks of motherhood with courage and unswerving faith.
As Americans, we instinctively resist any sort of absolute authority. How fitting then that it was by letting herself be ruled by Christ, the King, that Elizabeth Ann Seton—the first American-born saint—showed her fellow Americans where liberation must begin: in Him.
Our Lord, the supernatural architect of our lives, builds with blocks of grace.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Mother Seton both looked at life with wonder and a willingness to be surprised. These saints knew that nothing happens that is not part of God’s plan, and that His plan is utterly good.
Teachers can’t expect to have a student as exceptional as St. Thomas Aquinas, but both Albertus Magnus and Mother Seton understood that every teacher can create “masterpieces” by forming students in Christ’s image.
Like Mother Seton, Mother Cabrini is a saint whose life helps us to remember God’s perspective when we’re in the middle of setbacks and frustrations. No apparent failure is so devastating that He can’t bring good from it.
Veterans Day honors those who have served in the military, and is also the feast day of the soldier St. Martin of Tours. The virtues of obedience, humility and sacrifice, which are shared by soldiers and saints, were evident in the life of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who left hearth and home to do spiritual battle for the Kingdom of Christ.
The Saints who have gone before us show us how to live with the terrors and incivilities of our times.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton knew the secret of God’s grace and generosity. She once wrote: “The greater my unworthiness, the more abundant His mercy.” Her words are a great consolation when we feel weak in the face of a world that needs us.
Humility consists in embracing God and his ways over the ways of the earth, no matter the cost.
Before she became a foundress and a saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton was a wife, a mother, a teacher. On All Souls Day, her example reminds us of the dignity of the ordinary faithful who keep things going, bearing everyday witness to the power and value of a life in Christ.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, like so many other saints, took inspiration from the lives of those who came before her. For All Saints Day, why not copy the venerable practice of seeking out a patron saint to teach you throughout the next liturgical year?
Blessed Chiara Badano and Mother Seton each lived the Agony in the Garden, handing themselves over to God’s Providence, enduring all as Jesus had endured all. They show us that living a fully Christian life with joy is not just a pious dream. It’s an experience of heaven on earth.
What binds Saints Simon and Jude together, aside from their common feast day, is the zealous abandonment embraced by every saint, including Elizabeth Ann Seton, who recognized that each of us is an “impossible cause” searching for God’s mercy.
St. John Paul II’s description of the beauty of authentic womanhood meets fulfillment in the life and work of Mother Seton.
In situations of explosive uncertainty, we need to cling to the single thread that is God.
Feelings change, emotions rise and fall, but God remains our anchor. It’s that truth, as St. Teresa of Avila and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton knew, that brings us peace, no matter the storms that rage around us.
Both St. John Henry Newman and Mother Seton were generous in their affection for many friends. In their lives we see how holiness and the natural virtue of friendship go hand-in-hand.
In today’s world, we need God more than ever, and we need to unite our wills with His. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary reminds us that communion with God requires prayer. The Blessed Mother understood this, as did Mother Seton: ‘Make my heart like unto thine.’
St. Faustina and Mother Seton inspire us to bring our little bits of good will to the small tasks before us, and trust that God can accomplish great things through them.
At Mother Seton’s canonization, Pope Paul VI said “A Saint is a human creature fully conformed to the will of God.” Consider these four ways that St. Francis and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton embodied this standard in their own lives.
The courage and boldness of St. Therese and Mother Seton, especially in the face of great suffering and agony, flowed from their willingness to throw themselves completely into the arms of the Father.
Probing the depths of our faith, we see that truth can be illuminated by some of the most confounding paradoxes.
The angels surround us, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton believed. God and his angelic servants are here to help us whenever we turn to them, in every season of life.
St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton weren’t holy card or fairy-tale figures, but flesh and blood human beings who struggled with earthly dreams. Their lives suggest a way forward for all of us who suffer the tension between a comfortable life in the world and a life thrown open to Christ.
In Padre Pio and Elizabeth Ann Seton, we see the diversity of the saints, and how the drama of the human soul is expressed in many different ways. But what unites them is their “yes” to God, which unlocks the power of a true disciple of Christ.
St. Thomas of Villanova and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton show us that obedience is the path to great works, and humility is what makes all the other virtues possible.
The lives of St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton show us the paradox of surrender—how fragile human vessels can become sudden and hopeful expressions of God’s own power.
Mother Seton suffered much during her life, from poverty and social hostility, to the deaths of many loved ones. She persevered and carried on her work, thanks to her faith and courage. But through it all, she always accepted her own weakness, knowing that the true source of her strength was the Crucified Christ.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton grew up longing for a mother’s love. Her own mother died when she was just three-years-old. So when Elizabeth entered the Catholic Church, God gave her his own mother, Mary. For the rest of her life, she clung to the Blessed Mother. And just as she urged her Sisters to sing Mary’s praises, she urges us to do the same.
No matter what our family and its educational choices look like, God teaches and forms us through our daily struggle to love and serve those closest to us.
In their lives, Mother Teresa and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton experienced darkness that opened up the possibility of serving others in new ways, to bring the light of heaven to those in darkness on earth.
The wisdom of the Saints transcends time and place, as we see in the lives of St. Gregory the Great and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Separated by 1,200 years, each Saint lived in tumultuous times, balancing action and contemplation in ways that are relevant in any age.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was a woman of great works, but she was also a mystic. Like Saint Augustine, her restlessness led her to open her heart fully to God, to ask the most essential questions about her very being, knowing that she could fully trust in His answers.
God calls forth new saints in every place and in every age. He needs only what he needed at Nazareth, when Mary first said “yes”—a willing heart. For the United States, he found such a heart in Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Letting go of fear and the desire to control our own lives leads to the true detachment and peace that mark the lives of Christ’s followers.
Despite the obvious differences of gender, social status, nationality and historical era, Elizabeth Ann Seton and King Louis IX of France shared a common vision based on faith. They modeled their lives on Love itself.
We don’t like to put ourselves under the authority of another. For us, power is often synonymous with oppression. But in Christ, and in Our Lady, Mother Seton, and the saints, power exists in the framework of love. And when Love is what rules us, everything changes.
The Church teaches that Mary’s Assumption anticipates the resurrection of the saved, and is a sign of hope and comfort for us all. In her life, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton continually relied on this certain hope, in the sure knowledge of Mary’s presence in eternity, body and soul.
The Christian life asks of us devotion and suffering but promises to those who persevere the crown of eternal life.
Even in seasons of loneliness, we were made to live with and for others. God provides the means to serve him through a community.
Mother Seton and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (also known as Edith Stein) witnessed to a way of living and dying modeled on the ultimate sacrifice Christ accomplished on the Cross.
The example of Peter during the transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor warns us against taking easy roads to holiness, a lesson that Mother Seton embodied in her life. She always stayed on the narrow path, walking alongside Christ, all the way to heaven.
Adoring Christ in the Eucharist with reverence and devotion leads us to love him more and to know his presence in our lives.
Elizabeth Seton’s ordinary life reminds us that even without divine visions we can discover God’s abiding presence and grace in the everyday circumstances of life.
When we see ourselves in the light of eternity, we know that the pains and sorrows of this world are nothing compared with the glories of heaven.
In the lives of Blessed Solanus Casey and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, we can see the seven characteristics of uniquely American saints.
St. Martha is counted as one of the blessed, despite her fears and anxieties, and difficulties in understanding her vocation. What she and Mother Seton teach us is that only in Christ’s call for our lives do we find true joy and consolation.
Throughout their lives, St. Anne and Mother Seton had little idea of the glorious destiny God had in mind for them. They show us how to be faithful to God in all things, and to trust in his perfect plan for our lives.
In the lives of these two saints – one so modern, the other so ancient – the Church reminds us of what it means to be a saint: staying close to Christ.
Faith is not free; it comes with a cost. But that cost seems small when compared with the immense riches of grace.
These two great women show us that God can take the smallest and most humble act of love and transform it into “Veronica’s veil,” an imprint of his own divine charity and mercy.
Like Saint Benedict, the father of western monasticism, Mother Seton’s life was grounded in contemplation and action. She was a woman of prayer who put all of her energy into the work God called her towards, always trusting in Grace.
Unthinkable suffering and injustice can leave us feeling defeated, angry, and near despair. St. Maria Goretti and Mother Seton show us that there is no darkness that is beyond God’s boundless love and forgiveness.
Both literally and figuratively, mountains were the means by which Pier Giorgio Frassati and Elizabeth Ann Seton scaled the heights of holiness and service to God and neighbor.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton had a bold spirit, embraced new identities, made a home in hard circumstances, and left a giant legacy. She embodied many of the best virtues of being American.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Irenaeus suffered greatly in their lives and were deeply “acquainted with grief.” Instead of leading to despair, suffering made them fully alive to the beauty of the world and to the gift of God’s grace.
God does not call us to a life void of joy and light. God is found both when we pray and play. He makes His presence known in the daily tasks of ordinary life—something that both St. Josemaría Escrivá and Mother Seton understood.
Everyone loves a birthday, but St. Elizabeth Ann Seton intuitively saw something the Catholic Church also uniquely sees: birthdays have a deep and powerful meaning.
Throughout her life, Mother Seton knew that we are never truly alone, even when life’s challenges are most daunting. Our Heavenly Father is always there for us—present, loving, merciful.
Lost car keys or a feverish child might not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of life, but it’s in the small, everyday things that we find a multitude of ways to love.
Mother Seton’s dedication to teaching, and her care for the poor and suffering, reflected the perfect maternal love of Mary, a love that we learn through devotion to her Immaculate Heart.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart teaches us that the way of the saints is not about an abstract ideal or rules for life, but about the unfathomable love of God, who we embrace—blood, sweat and all.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton believed in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist even before she was fully received into the Church. Let us remember her witness during the Feast of Corpus Christi, as we approach the altar to receive the great gift of God himself.
The unshakable faith of Saint John XXIII and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton flowed from their devotion to the “strength of goodness.” This devotion was inspired by the humble and outward-serving influences of people who left indelible marks on the young lives of these two great saints.
The difference is great between the young African tribesman in Uganda and the religious foundress from New York City. But we are reminded of their similarities through their different spiritual gifts in the same Spirit and their different forms of service for the same Lord.
In the Visitation, we see the Blessed Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth sharing the joyful news of the Incarnation. Their example shows us – as St. Elizabeth Ann Seton did throughout her life – that true friendship brings us closer to God.
Saint Joan of Arc and Mother Seton are two fiery souls with one shared devotion to Christ. Both unwilling to back down, they each offered all “in the ambit of that one ‘everlasting’ sign, the cross.”
Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we can rest in the community of love that is the Triune God. Mother Seton shows us how to immerse ourselves in the life of the Blessed Trinity as God’s beloved sons and daughters.
When Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was canonized in 1975, it was Pope Paul VI who declared to the world her sainthood. 43 years later, Paul VI was canonized a saint, joining Mother Seton in inspiring the world to live bold and authentic Catholic lives.
Both St. Philip Neri and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton joyfully allowed the winds of the Holy Spirit to lead them wherever He desired. They each followed the path set for them by God, until they reached their crowning glory in Heaven with Him forever.
At Pentecost, we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church through imagery of divine wind and fire. For Mother Seton—and for Catholics today—it’s within the storms and wreckage of life that grace is encountered, and new paths are revealed.
Saint Rita of Cascia and Mother Seton both experienced tragedy and loss in their lives. Each saint found salvation in God’s love by uniting their suffering to the wounds of Christ.
What does the Ascension of the Lord mean for the world and for our own lives? The answer can be found in the faith journey of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who kept her gaze firmly fixed on Jesus, through time and eternity.
As we endure trials and isolation during the pandemic, we can look to St. Julian of Norwich and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for strength. They share the mystic’s confidence that “all shall be well” if we trust in God. These things that we suffer and fear – pain, death, illness, loss, and strife – Jesus has already overcome. We suffer in the world, but He has conquered the world.
When my fears threaten to overtake me, I look for courage to the lives of the saints, who embraced the certainty of new life in the risen Christ, who lives among us still in the Eucharist, and in the Church.
Meditating on the trials and struggles of St. Louise de Marillac and Mother Seton gives us hope in these uncertain times. We learn that holiness is found not in flashes of glory, but in the messy spaces where one watches, prays, and waits.
Mother Seton’s extraordinary legacy of doing good in the world contradicts the story told by our secular culture, which says that children are an obstacle to women’s achievement.
If we knew God’s plan for our lives ahead of time, we may feel too scared or overwhelmed to trust Him. But we have the example of St. Rose Venerini and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton to show us how to give God one faithful “yes” at a time.
What attracted Mother Seton to the Catholic Church was the closeness of Christ, from the intimate scenes of the nativity, to His presence in the Eucharist. Like the great saint Athanasius, she proclaimed the truth of the Incarnation to all—“God is so infinitely present to us that he is in every part of our life and being.”
Elizabeth Ann Seton’s young daughters liked to write out the holy initials J+M+J in imitation of their mother. In difficult times we can go with the saints to the heart of the domestic Church, to Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the family of God.
From our modern perspective, how St. Catherine of Siena and Mother Seton went to extremes for the sake of the Eucharist can seem absurd. But their devotion to the real presence of Christ was as essential to their lives as breathing is to ours.
We say the words “Thy will be done” countless times, but do we really mean them? St. Elizabeth Ann Seton shows us how we can grow into our prayers – even the tough ones – by opening ourselves to God’s love, and learning to trust Him completely.
Saint George was a man who abandoned one army for another. He gave up the rank of tribune to enlist as a soldier for Christ. Like Saint George, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton shows us how to face our spiritual battles, confident in Christ’s victory on the cross.
God doesn’t want a casual relationship. He wants us to turn to him in everything we do. As St. Elizabeth Ann Seton says: “He wants us to lift our hearts to him. Always.”
When Bernadette Soubirous and Elizabeth Ann Seton each discerned their callings, these future saints gave unstinting witness to their missions, in extreme obedience to truths that brought hope and light to many. They never backed down.
Saint Gemma Galgani and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton devoted their entire lives to Jesus. They show us that we must run to His mercy and unite ourselves wholly to Him.
For humans, finding a balance between justice and mercy is always difficult. But St. Elizabeth Ann Seton understood that God’s grace transcends earthly limits, and allows mercy to fall lightly from heaven on our hearts and minds.
If we knew the crosses in store for our lives before they were given to us, we may despair and give up immediately. Saint Jean Baptiste de la Salle and Mother Seton show us how to take our crosses with full trust in God one day at a time.
With St. Mary Magdalene, let us accept Christ’s ‘Do not touch me’ with the certainty that His words give us a new mission, and a new way to be with Him, just as St. Elizabeth Ann Seton met the hardships of her life with renewed faith and strength.
Despite times of anguish about the salvation of souls, for Mother Seton the crucifixion was not a sign of the wickedness of sin or the devil’s hour, but the ultimate sign of Christ’s sympathy and love for sinners.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s words are a reminder to us on this Good Friday that the heaviness of the Cross binds us to Christ, who is Peace, Justice, and Mercy.
Since my ordination I’ve kept near to me words of Mother Seton that echo her ‘Yes” which created a sisterhood of Charity. Her intercessory presence is with me now, in the center of the pandemic, as I serve in isolation at a nursing home in New York City.
As we enter the darkness of the Holy Triduum, looking with hope to Easter, the example of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton shows us how to yield our lives to Christ, the Crucified One, that we might live.
This Holy Thursday will continue to be marked by limited attendance in churches worldwide, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mother Seton’s longing for the Eucharist during her life mirrors our elation when we finally receive Him again.
The rituals of Holy Week evolved over centuries to help us enter more deeply into the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. Through her own experiences of suffering and joy, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s life was a mirror of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection.
The lives of the saints, including Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, remind us that the sacrifices they made — and that we make — all point to the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us. We are healed through the sacrifice already made by Jesus on the Cross.
A few weeks after her conversion, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton celebrated the Annunciation by receiving Holy Communion for the first time. Thereafter, even in moments of poverty, loss and death, Elizabeth would follow Mary’s example with grace, courage, and a mission to serve others.
Saint Lea and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton trusted that the reality of eternity was hidden within the crosses they faced in their lives.
Not only did St. Elizabeth Ann Seton endure much suffering and illness throughout her life, but she underwent her own harrowing quarantine with her dying husband far from home. This Lent we can unite our own inner and exterior trials across time and space with the communion of saints.
St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton teach us that God won’t make troubles go away, but he will protect us in the midst of them. They both found strength by responding to God’s call, even when it meant leaving everything behind.
From the hardscrabble immigrants she worshiped with and whose piety she learned from, to the Irish clergy and bishops with whom she worked to build her religious community, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton always had a heart for the Irish.
When St. Matilda of Ringelheim and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton were widowed early, they wasted no time despairing, and instead focused on God’s will for their lives. Their legacies speak to the importance of trusting in God to do great things with us and through us, regardless of our circumstances.
Frances of Rome and Elizabeth Ann Seton were very different women who took similar paths to sainthood. They each received the grace to found religious communities, by praying without ceasing, and trusting in God’s plan for their lives, no matter the circumstances they encountered.
Saint John of God and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton show us that not all sacrifices have to be big and dramatic to be holy. Extraordinary sacrifice can be found in the ordinary events of life.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was awestruck after confessing her sins for the first time. The account of Jesus’ anger in the temple is a reminder to us of the power of his mercy to restore the temples of our souls.
These two brave and unselfish women devoted their lives to educating poor children and ministering to the needy. We can see their legacies today in the religious communities they founded, and the thousands of Catholic schools across our nation.
Trusting in Divine Providence is easy when things go our way. But when we’re faced with setbacks, rejection and suffering, we often learn how far we are from truly accepting God’s love.
St. Peter is honored because despite his weaknesses, he loved and followed Jesus, and became the first pope. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton also chose a difficult path, when she answered God’s call, and entered the Catholic Church. Like St. Peter, Mother Seton’s humility became her greatest glory.
For St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the three Lenten marks of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving were a way of life. Her words can inspire us to view these three practices of Lent as one integrated act.
Mother Seton didn’t walk the Way of the Cross alone during her life, but rather she surrounded herself with a community, with whom she journeyed in mutual dependence, step by step, along the path Christ set for them. During Lent, together with the Church, we are all invited to do the same.
An important step in Mother Seton’s conversion took place on Ash Wednesday, when she first entered the Catholic Church.
Though more than a millennium separates us from the evangelical mission of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and two centuries from Mother Seton, their approach to evangelization is a model for the Church today.
The love between spouses is a mirror of God’s enduring love for us. Few examples of such love are more poignant than Elizabeth Ann Seton’s tender care for her dying husband William during their long quarantine in a damp lazaretto after their journey to Italy.
As Lent approaches, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Scholastica remind us to examine our hearts and prioritize and cultivate a fervent desire for God.
Following Christ is not without challenges. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Agatha are examples of leaning into God’s grace to persevere and triumph in times of challenge.
Mother Seton was no stranger to illness and suffering within her family. By her example and through St. Blaise’s intercession, we can place our family’s health in the Lord’s hands, confident that He will bind up our wounds.
When the Holy Family presented the infant Jesus at the temple, Mary learned that her soul would one day be pierced by a sword. Like the Blessed Mother, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s faith-filled devotion helped carry her through the pains and trials of motherhood, and can inspire us today.
St. John Bosco and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton presented lessons of love and gentleness to the most vulnerable of children. Their gentle instruction inspired their respective countries through the many thousands of pupils who would be taught by the communities they founded.
Even though St. Elizabeth Ann Seton spent much of her adult life educating and instructing others in the Catholic faith, she never stopped being a student herself. Her own education in the faith can be traced back to the iconic saint and student, St. Thomas Aquinas.
The conversions of Paul and Elizabeth Ann Seton may seem exceptional, but each of us, in our own life, can experience the same grace by opening our heart when Christ calls.
Often the greatest saints practice the smallest and most simple virtues. Inspired by the spiritual writings of Francis de Sales, the saint of everyday holiness, Mother Seton put his teachings into practice as she treaded forward on her own path to sainthood.
Saints aren’t people who are in control. When faced with suffering, St. Vincent of Saragossa and Mother Seton responded by letting themselves be loved. They gave everything over to the One who loves us, who wants us unconditionally. And the fruit of such love is Ecstasy.
In difficult times, Saint Agnes and Mother Seton were models of courage rooted in Christ. They show us that God doesn’t promise a life without suffering, but he does promise that when we turn to Him, He will help us bear our cross.
Read Archbishop William E. Lori’s inspiring homily fromSt. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Feast Day Mass.
John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton bore their challenges with total confidence in the infinite presence of God. I try to keep their examples in mind when the daily living of my faith feels daunting.
Archbishop Lori was the main celebrant at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Feast Day Mass on January 4th, 2020. If you missed it, you can read his full homily on how she lived a life of love and service despite hardships and challenges.
St. John Neumann and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton show us how to trust in God’s Will and make Christ the center of our lives even in a culture that runs counter to the Faith.
When we consider Mother Seton’s legacy, on the 200th Anniversary of her death, we can see how her faith in God grounded her life of service, and that heaven itself is seeded with her prayers for the help of others.
Something powerful always happens when divinity meets humanity. This is best exemplified in the Incarnation, when God took on human flesh, and we see this reflected when ordinary people rise to become saints. Mother Seton’s life speaks to this mystery, and by her example she leads us closer to the Incarnate Word.
Reflecting on the journey of the three wise men helped lead Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton to the Catholic Church. The Feast of the Epiphany is a good time for us to ask: Where are we traveling? What are we seeking? What star will we follow?
The feast of the Holy Family reminds us of the priceless gift of a family. Christ came to earth within a family, and he can come to each of us today through the love and faith found in family life.
In the lives of St. Stephen and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton we see that authentic service to the poor is deeply rooted in love for God and His Truth.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s entire life testified to the meaning of the Incarnation. In Jesus’s vulnerability, He taught us to trust that all of God’s purposes redound to our good. In God’s gift of himself, He taught us how to freely give of ourselves to others.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Peter Canisius witnessed to the faith through their charitable actions and works of kindness—a strength they received from relying on the loving heart of Mary.
St. John of the Cross and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton teach us how to empty ourselves before God as we journey towards Christmas. Elizabeth’s barren womb, John the Baptist’s desert cry, the shepherd’s confusion, and Mary and Joseph in that cold stable—all of them point to the truth of Advent: the whole, poor world is waiting for Jesus to come.
At Guadalupe, our Blessed Mother’s personal relationship with the people of Mexico changed the world. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton discovered the same truth in her own life. When you remember that Jesus and Mary are your family, then truly, anything is possible.
As we see in the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and in the life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, we are each made for some purpose. Not for “nothing,” but decidedly for “something” in the grand scheme of the world and all of its intended Glory.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton loved to quote Saint Ambrose, one of the four original Doctors of the Church. On his feast day, we pray that we might follow in his and Mother Seton’s footsteps in teaching the true faith to others — both in words, and in authentic lives of devotion and service.
The examples of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Francis Xavier challenge us today. They were each unafraid to seek and preach the truth, despite what others might think or what it might cost them.
When we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, we proclaim with the Church that Jesus is the “King of the Universe.” Few understood this fact more intensely than Mother Seton. Do we allow Jesus to be the Lord of our lives? Do we accept him as King in all things?
Encountering the massacre of the innocents so soon after the joy of Christmas Day is a shock. How should we respond to such massive injustice? Mother Seton showed us that we can transform the world, one person at a time, by responding with love when faced with suffering, without asking “why” or waiting for justice.
On Divine Mercy Sunday we each have the opportunity to summon within our hearts the same trust in God’s mercy that Mother Seton had: “We are truly his and he is truly ours.”
If we really understood Lent, we would be as enthralled with Ash Wednesday as Mother Seton was. It is through our Lenten journey inward into “the great empty” that we encounter God and meet our authentic selves.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton found in Sacred Scripture a path to God. Her life embodied what the Second Vatican Council called the “force and power in the word of God” that becomes the “support and energy of the Church.”
We used to celebrate Christmas for forty days, a period symbolizing conversion. Mother Seton’s own life-changing Christmas experience prompts us to ask ourselves—did we open our hearts to the Christ child this year? Or did we lock the door of the inn?
Looking for a role model to inspire your New Year’s resolutions? Who better than St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, America’s first native-born Saint, whose feast day falls on January 4. She overcame the same obstacles we struggle with in our own lives. A friend we can identify with is one we are more likely to emulate.
Christmas is joyous, but it’s also a time when the stresses and conflicts of family life can lead to bitterness. In such moments we should follow the example of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, who knew that only by looking towards eternity can we attain peace here on earth.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton accepted God’s will for her life as something sweet—even adored. How can we achieve the same spiritual surrender in our own lives?
From the seeds planted 200 years ago, the church that Elizabeth Seton cherished as her “ark” today serves more than 64 million Catholics.
There is a lot this homegrown saint can teach us, especially these three lessons from her life.
Elizabeth Bayley Seton and her family shaped Catholic life in nineteenth century America. And they continue to shape it today.
If American Catholics are looking for a Christian role model during these turbulent times, Mother Seton is a wonderful choice.