January 4th, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton! A convert from Anglicanism, she was the first native-born American to be canonized a saint. It’s fitting that her feast falls so soon after the Solemnity of Mother Mary Of God, who led her to Jesus and the Epiphany. For it was on the feast of the Epiphany in 1805 that “a star of faith appeared to her.” Prior to this day she experienced many trials, as her family and close friends shunned her for her desire to become a Catholic. But she read a sermon by Louis Bourdaloue, S. J.: “O you who have lost the star of faith … [f]rom now on no hesitation, no weakness, no procrastination. Holy Church of God, teach, direct, call to Thyself thy child, docile and faithful forever more.” (From The Soul of Elizabeth Ann Seton, by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul).
These words were to her the manifestation of God. She made a resolution that day to join the Catholic Church officially, and since that day she served God in every way she could: raising her children as Catholics, establishing the Widows’ Society that provided aid for widows and their children, founding the first Catholic school system in the country, and finally founding the Sisters of Charity, who continued to serve the poor.
St. Elizabeth Ann, pray for us all that we too may see the manifestation of God and serve him with our whole being.