Sunday, January 3, 2010

An American Saint

Since it will be all work all day tomorrow let me reflect tonight on the life of an American born saint. Her name is Elizabeth Ann Seton and she was born in New York in the 18th century. She was raised as an Episcoplian and married Richard Seton who was very wealthy.

Unfortunately, Seton's business fell apart and he was forced into bankruptcy. Soon after his health failed him and doctors sent him to Rome for treatment and recovery. Elizabeth followed her husband to Rome where he eventually died. Elizabeth was left a widow and a mother of five although they were reaching ages of independence.

While in Rome, Elizabeth was taken in by a Catholic family, fell in love with the faith and was accepted in the Catholic Church in 1805. Still concerned with taking care of her family, Seton established schools, with some difficulties but eventual success and later turned her attention to founding a women's religious order. This would become the first women's religious order totally established in the United States and was devoted to helping poor children. From these humble beginnings, six religious communities in the United States are still in existence.

Elizabeth Ann Seton had a fierce devotion to the Eucharist, Sacred Scripture and the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was eventually declared a Saint in 1975 by Pope Paul VI, becoming the first American born Saint.

Here in New Orleans we used to have a all girls high school named in her honor. The diocese of Shreveport claims St. Elizabeth Ann Seton as their patron saint.

So on this upcoming first work day and back to school day we can ask St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for her powerful intercession.

No comments:

Post a Comment