St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Passion for God, Compassion for the Poor and a Zeal for Souls.
along with the sisters who joined her, Elizabeth endured many hardships. The buildings were in a state of disrepair, the winters were cold, and there was little food. Nevertheless, as a result of the mortification often practiced by Elizabeth and the other sisters, their yoke seemed easy and their burden felt light. They lived in the freedom and joy experienced in a simple and peaceful life of holy abandonment to God's will.
Against her wishes, Elizabeth was elected superior of the new community at Emmitsburg, which, with a few modifications, followed the rule of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Mother Seton, now with 18 sisters at her side, together took their vows on 19 July 1813. From then on the community began to flourish, doing many works of charity, and came to be known with great respect and admiration.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's life showed forth a deep passion for love of God, compassion for the poor, and a holy zeal for the salvation of souls. Perhaps, on her providential exposure to the Catholic Faith, a desire for the consecrated, religious life surfaced as she fell in love with the profound ritual and the holy, pious silence so characteristic of the Catholic life in the Spirit.
Although the religious life of a convent would be impractical for a widow with children, St. Elizabeth continuously embraced just such a life as best her circumstances would allow. She is remembered for her many sacrifices, as well as for her love of teaching the poor children; for her gift of intellect; for her humility and mortification; for her perseverance; and for her unwavering dedication to the holy dwelling place of mother Catholic Church. She will stand forever as an example of true Christian discipleship.
After suffering from a pulmonary disease, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton died at Emmitsburg, Maryland, on 4 January 1821. Beatified in 1963, she was canonized on 14 September 1975, by Pope Paul VI, and thus became the first American born saint.
F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows the Catholic Church offers the fullest means of salvation; therefore his Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever receive. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at joyintruth.com
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, first American born saint, St. Seton, conversion to the Catholic Faith, beauty of Catholicism, wife, mother, feminist, religious, foundress, holiness, F. K. Bartels
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