Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (1774-1821)
First American-born Saint to be Canonized (September 14, 1975)
Memorial, January 4
There is a Mystery, the greatest of all my stories. Not that my adored Lord is in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. His word has said it, and what is so simple as to take that word, which is the Truth itself? But that Souls of his own creation, whom he gave his Life to save, Who are endowed with his choicest gifts in all things else, should remain blind, insensible, and deprived of that light without which every other blessing is unavailing!–and that the ungrateful, stupid, faithless being to whom He has given the Free and Bounteous Heavenly gift shall approach his true and Holy Sanctuary, taste the sweetness of his presence, feed on the bread of Angels, the Lord of glory united to the very presence of its Being and become part of itself, yet still remain a groveler in the Earth! (my poor, poor Soul) is what we too well experience while lost in wonder of his forebearing Mercy, and still more wondering at our Own misery in the very center of Blessedness. Jesus, then, is there. We can go, receive him, he is our own. Were we to pause and think of this thro' Eternity, yet we can only realize it by his conviction: that he is there (O heavenly theme!) is as certainly true as that Bread naturally taken removes my hunger. So this Bread of Angels removes my pain, my cares, warms, cheers, soothes, contents and renews my whole being. Merciful God, and I do possess you, kindest, dearest Friend, every affection of my Nature absorbed in you still is Active, nay, perfected in their operations thro' your refining love. (Journal, ca. 1809)
Lord God, you blessed Elizabeth Seton with gifts of grace as wife and mother, educator and foundress, so that she might spend her life in service to your people. Through her example and prayers may we learn to express our love for you in love for our fellow men and women. We ask this through Christ our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.