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How Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton's Trials Led Her to Love the Blessed Mother Before Becoming Catholic

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was a wife, mother, teacher, and a convert to the Catholic faith. She holds a special place in the hearts of so many, especially in the United States.

We celebrate the feast day of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton on January 4.

A video from Seton Shrine explains the beautiful story of how Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton found Our Blessed Mother during her faith journey and why she turned to the Blessed Mother during her life.

While everyone has a unique conversion story, something about the journey of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is especially relatable.

“Mother Seton’s childhood was filled with difficult relationships that left her wounded. Yet, God brought her one relationship later in life that helped her heal.” the narrator begins.

Sister Regina Bechtle, Sister of Charity, reveals that Elizabeth Seton’s first recorded memory is the death of her mother and younger sister, both named Catherine. This traumatic event occurred when the future saint was merely three years old.

The absence of her mother weighed heavily on Elizabeth.

Elizabeth then experienced the messiness of her father’s remarriage. She often struggled to navigate the distant relationship between her and her new stepmother.

She felt a loneliness that many of us can relate to, whether it occurred during childhood, or in our lives today.

Furthermore, the mother of five young children was widowed at a young age.

It wasn’t until her time in Italy alongside the Feliki family that she was introduced to the Blessed Mother. At this point in her life, she had been raised Protestant, but felt something deeper upon learning about the different aspects of the Catholic faith. By the time she returned to New York, she had decided to enter the Catholic Church.

Discovering the maternal nature of the Virgin Mary struck her.

Of this memory, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton said,

“I have looked in all the plays of childhood and wildness of youth to the clouds for my mother, and in that moment, it seemed as if I had found more than her.”

Rob Judge, Executive Director of the Seton Shrine, elaborated on this,

“The Blessed Mother’s role was always to point to Jesus and to bring people to Jesus and that’s her role today from heaven…and she played that same role in Elizabeth Seton’s life.”

What an incredible witness to the power of Our Lady’s intercession.

The Seton Shrine’s Danielle Bean explained,

“Elizabeth turned to the Blessed Virgin Mary for guidance in her faith journey, especially when she was discerning her conversion from the Episcopal to the Catholic Church, but also for day-to-day support in the trials and sorrows of caring for others.”

In her Seton Shrine blog post Bean also provided Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Memorare:

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Memorare:

Remember, O most pious Virgin Mary,That no one ever had recourse to you,Implored your help or sought your mediation,Without obtaining relief.Confiding then on your goodness and mercy,I cast myself at your sacred feet,And do most humbly supplicate you,O, Mother of the Eternal Word,To adopt me as your child and take upon yourselfThe care of my eternal salvation.O, let it not be said, my dearest Mother,That I have perished, where no one ever found but grace andEternal Salvation. Love me, my Mother!

Let this experience inspire you to lean on Our Blessed Mother in the same way! Turn to her in all your necessities and allow her to point you to her most Holy Son.

You can view the entire video from the Seton Shrine here:

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!

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