When the Catholic church declared Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) a saint in 1975, she became the first native-born American to be canonized. Use a portion of her feast day to learn more about this extraordinary person in religious history.

To Name This Day:


The 1980 film A Time for Miracles: The Story of Mother Seton is available for purchase for $17.95 from Ignatius Press. Kate Mulgrew plays this convert to Catholicism who overcame adversity and went on to found the Catholic order the Sisters of Charity and the first American Catholic schools.


Mother Seton's spirit lives on in the institutions she founded. But she also wrote many letters to friends and family and kept a diary. Here are two of her thoughts to ponder:

  • "The nearer a soul is truly united to God, the more its sensibilities are increased to every being of His creation; much more to those whom it is bound to love by the tenderest and most endearing ties."
  • "If I succeed I bless God. If I do not succeed, I bless God."

Photo Credit: Icon of St. Elizabeth Seton by Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS, available at Trinity Stores.