This day commemorates the life and work of the first American born saint
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (January 4, 2019): 1JN 3:7-10; PS 98:1,7-8,9; JN 1:35-42
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today we honor the woman who founded the first parish school in America and who is now patron of Catholic schools, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
She was born to a wealthy New York family in 1774 and raised as an Episcopalian. It was from both her family and religion that she learned the importance of service to those in need. Left a penniless widow with five children while still in her twenties, she became interested in becoming a Catholic due to the deep faith and loving-kindness of Italian friends. She went to Maryland where she founded a school, an orphanage and, in time, the Sisters of Charity, the first women’s religious community in the country.
Elizabeth Seton had a deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and a profound desire to do God’s will. She wrote: “God has given me a great deal to do, and I have always and hope always to prefer His will to every wish of my own.” She spent her 46 years on earth serving God and His people, despite problems with personal relationships, illness and other hardships. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton entrusted herself to the love and care of Almighty God.
“The Lord comes; He comes to rule the earth; He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with equity” (Psalm 98:9). We can strive to emulate her great faith – and that of those devout people who encouraged her faith.
Suggested missionary action: Let us honor all consecrated women and men by praying for their welfare of body and soul. We can also ask God to help those discerning His call to a religious vocation.