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Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is America’s first beatified and canonized saint. The second child of a socially prominent New York City family, she was born on August 28, 1774, two years before the Declaration of Independence. By birth and marriage she was linked to the most illustrious families of New York.

She lost her mother and sister early in life, and her father, Dr. Richard Bayley remarried. From both her mother and step-mother, staunch Episcopalians, Elizabeth learned a love of Scripture and the value of prayer. From her father, a great humanitarian, she learned to serve others.

On January 25, 1794 the nineteen-year-old belle of New York married a handsome, wealthy business man, William Magee Seton. The couple had five children before his finances faltered and international political upheaval and tragic business losses combined to lead to William Seton’s bankruptcy.

Plagued by tuberculosis for most of their married life, in the fall of 1803, William, accompanied by his wife and eldest daughter, sought some relief for his illness in the warmer climate of Italy, where he had business friends. Quarantined for a month by the Italian port authorities, who feared he had yellow fever, William Seton died of tuberculosis on December 27 leaving Elizabeth a penniless widow at the age of thirty.

While staying with her husband’s business partner’s family in Italy, Elizabeth was introduced to the Catholic Faith and closely observed the Filicchi family’s religious practices within the intimacy of their family home.

She was especially attracted to the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the fact that the apostolic succession could be traced back to the apostles and to Christ. Imperceptibly drawn to all that she witnessed first hand, she here began a process of conversion that ultimately led to her being received into the Catholic Church by the pastor of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in New York City on March 14, 1805.

At the invitation of the Bishop of Baltimore and to support her children, she opened a school that, from the very beginning, followed the lines of a religious establishment. Following some difficult years of trials and struggles, in 1809 Elizabeth moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland where she founded the first religious order for women in America, the Sisters of Charity. From this time on, she was to become known as "Mother Seton".

The many letters of Mother Seton reveal her progress in the spiritual life. She suffered great trials: sickness, the death of two daughters, misunderstandings, and the heartache of a wayward son, but persevered through it all advancing from ordinary virtue to heroic sanctity.

Mother Seton died on January 4, 1821, by which day her congregation numbered twenty communities across America.

Cardinal Gibbons, successor to her nephew Archbishop James R. Bayley of Baltimore, introduced her cause in 1907. She was canonized in 1975.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for September 27, 2020

Do not worry yourself overmuch … Grace has its moments. Le...

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September 27

 

Do not worry yourself overmuch …
Grace has its moments.
Let us abandon ourselves to the providence of God
and be very careful not to run ahead of it.

St. Vincent de Paul


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Vincent de Paul

“Perfection in love does not consist of ecstasies, but in...

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St. Vincent de Paul

Born in 1576, ordained to the priesthood in 1600, he suffered many trials and setbacks and did not become a pastor for a number of years after his ordination. He was captured by Muslim pirates and held in captivity for two years after which he escaped with an apostate Italian, whom he succeeded in converting back to Catholicism. It was only in 1617 that he became a pastor and also the chaplain to Queen Marguerite, the separated wife of King Henry IV.
During this period, he founded many hospitals and orphanages, and frequently visited prisons. Through all of these arduous works, he remained calm and pleasant with everyone despite the tremendous amount of work he had undertaken, because as Father de Laurent states, Vincent possessed treasures of goodness. His bright eyes reflected his burning charity and his copious undertakings were the fruit of his pure goodness for “no one exerts a serious influence upon his surroundings if he is not fundamentally good.” He welcomed all with a beaming smile and charm, and firmly believed that the hours that he sacrificed to charity were never lost.

He saw the wealthy as a reflection of the Divine nobility of Our Lord, and in the poor, His voluntary and sublime poverty. While Vincent received many considerably large donations along with notable recognition from on high, none of this affected his profound humility. He also led an intense spiritual life. His contemplation of God gave him the graces and strength to accomplish what ordinary men could never do. He was a man of action, but he also was a man of continual prayer. His actions were a mere overflowing of his interior life, which was well nourished. He would often say “There is not much to hope for from a man who does not like to converse with God.” Rising at four in the morning, he would go directly to the chapel to spend an hour in meditation, celebrate daily Mass and afterward, recite his breviary.

Visitors would come by seeking consultations in grave matters during which he would remain silent for a few minutes, praying to God for good counsel and then dispense advice. He would bless himself each time that the clock struck the hour or quarter-hour. Vincent said that he saw the soul of Jane Frances de Chantal rise to Heaven in the form of a fiery globe during one of his Masses. He was a humble man who never divulged his prayer life, often recommended communal prayer and would frequently say, “Perfection in love does not consist of ecstasies, but in doing the will of God.”

Most importantly, he had a special devotion to Our Lady. He began this devotion in his youth and increased it throughout his life. Ultimately, he went forward in life after contemplation and prayer, not relying on human support, and by doing the Will of God.

Vincent was taken ill and died in 1660. He was canonized by Pope Clement XII in 1737.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort...

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The Rosary, the Devil and the Queen

In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates that Blessed Thomas of St. John was a great devotee of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As such, he was known for his powerful, moving sermons on the Rosary, which led people to adopt this devotion to their great benefit.

Furiously jealous of the holy man’s success with souls, the devil began to so torture Thomas that he fell sick, and was so ill for so long that the doctors gave up on saving his life.

One night, when the poor man thought he was near death, the devil appeared to him in a hideous form, coward that he is, seeking to frighten Thomas into despair.

But, making an effort, the good priest turned to a beautiful picture of Our Lady near his bed crying out with all his heart and strength:

“Help me, save me, my sweet, sweet Mother!”

No sooner had he pronounced these words, the picture came alive and extending her hand, the heavenly Lady laid it reassuringly on the priest’s arm, saying:

“Do not be afraid, Thomas my son, here I am and I am going to save you. Get up now and go on preaching my Rosary as you did before. I promise to shield and protect you from your enemies.”

No sooner had Our Lady pronounced these words, than the devil fled in a hurry. Getting up, Thomas found that he was perfectly healed. 

Thanking the Blessed Mother with tears of joy, Blessed Thomas again went about preaching the Holy Rosary, now with renewed favor and gumption, and his apostolate and his sermons were enormously successful. 

St. Louis the Montfort concludes this story saying, “Our lady not only blesses those who say her Rosary, but also abundantly rewards those who, by their example, inspire others to say it as well.”

 


 

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In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort relates that Blessed Thomas of St. John was a great devotee of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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