life began as Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph in 1809. Elizabeth was named the first superior and was given the title of “Mother.”
While in Emmitsburg, two of Seton’s daughters died from tuberculosis, Ann Maria in 1812 and Rebecca in 1816. At the same time, Elizabeth herself was experiencing poor health. She spent the last years of her life directing St. Joseph’s Academy and her growing community. She died January 4, 1821 at 46 years old.
Elizabeth Ann Seton lived a short life by today’s standard, but her legacy lived on. She was beatified by Pope John XXII on December 18, 1959. She was canonized, or officially made a saint, September 14, 1975, by Pope Paul VI.
Several miracles are attributed to her. The first miracle took place in New Orleans, where Sister Gertrude Korzendorfer made a full recovery from pancreatic cancer in the 1930s. Four-year-old Ann Theresa O’Neill was also cured of acute, lymphatic Leukemia in 1952, after Sister Mary Alice prayed to Seton. Carl E. Kalin was given a few hours to live in 1963, when he was diagnosed with meningitis on the brain and was in a coma. The Sisters of Charity of the New York Chapter visited Kalin and place a piece of bone known as a relic on him and prayed to Seton. Kalin woke a few hours later. Medical professions cannot explain how these people were cured; therefore they are considered miracles.
Elizabeth Ann Seton was known for her devotion, her compassion, and her desire to help others. She converted to Catholicism, where she worked to establish and grow the Sisters of Charity. Elizabeth Ann Seton is patron saint of bakers, those suffering the death of a child, the homeless, nurses, widows, and the grieving. We are privileged to have her relic in our altar and to count her as the first American saint.
I hope you can join us next Saturday night at the 4:30 pm Mass for the Consecration and Blessing of the new altar, sanctuary, and choir area. Expect the Mass to run longer than usual. If you have never seen this take place, I hope you can find the time to be with us and pray. Let us all pray through the intercession of Elizabeth Ann Seton, especially for those experiencing a loss of a loved one. Also pray to Elizabeth Ann Seton for a greater appreciation of the Eucharist, which is why she became Catholic. Have a great week and know you are in my prayers.