(The following wonderful reflection on the life of St. Elzabeth Ann Seton is from Fr. Mark Kirby which can be found on his website Vultus Christi ….I highly encourage you to check it out!!!
Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Prior of the Diocesan Benedictine Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle in Tulsa, Oklahoma.His Excellency Bishop Edward J. Slattery of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa established the monastery in 2009 with the distinctive mission of Eucharistic Adoration for the sanctification of priests.)
William Magee Seton gave this lithograph of Christ the Redeemer to his beloved wife, Elizabeth Ann Seton, sometime between 1774 and 1803. Its Eucharistic theme prophetically reflected the profound devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist that would characterize her piety as a Catholic.
Below is a photograph of a copy of a variant of the Memorare handwritten by Elizabeth Ann Seton. At the end of text she added the touching plea, “Love me, my Mother.
The Italian Experience
The conversion of Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton began in 1803 while she, a twenty-nine year old widow with one of her five children, were the guests of the Filicchi family in Livorno, or Leghorn, Italy. The Catholic Filicchis, Antonio and his wife Amabilia, offered her a gracious hospitality and unfailing emotional support in a time of crisis.
The Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin
In one of Signora Filicchi’s prayer books, Mrs. Seton came upon the text of Saint Bernard’s Memorare; she found in the Virgin Mary the tenderness and the pity of a mother. “That night,” she writes, “I cried myself to sleep in her heart.”
The Filicchi home contained a private chapel where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved. Elizabeth was drawn to the tabernacle. Even before her mind had been instructed in the mysteries of the Catholic faith, her heart recognized the living presence of the Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist. Her American Protestant sensibility was perplexed and, yet, she could not deny her heart’s fascination with the Lamb of God hidden beneath the sacramental veils.
Return to New York
Elizabeth’s long personal memoir, The Italian Journal, recounts the intimate details of her inner struggle and conversion to Catholicism. Elizabeth and her ten year old daughter, Anna Maria, returned to New York on June 3, 1804, accompanied by Antonio Filicchi — a man to whom Elizabeth had become deeply attached. He had become for her a friend and a spiritual counselor. (more…)
This entry was posted on Friday, January 4th, 2013 at 12:21 am
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.