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4 things not to miss at the Seton Shrine | Historia Vitae 

Louisa Florentin

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Children have fun in costume in the Junior History program at the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. (Courtesy of the Seton Shrine)

Historia Vitae: Treasures of Our Faith premieres TOMORROW!

Our newest TV series, Historia Vitae: Treasures of Our Faith, premieres on Sunday, August 15th at 8:30 pm ET / 5:30 pm PT, only on Salt + Light TV and Salt + Light Plus. You’ll get to see different museums, shrines, and historic sites around the world, and the saints and stories that make their rich histories come to life. In our first episode, we take you to the beautiful National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton – America’s first native-born saint.
About the Seton Shrine 
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel back in time and talk to your favourite saint? Ever dream of immersing yourself in their life so you could learn firsthand about the struggles and triumphs they went through? Intercessory prayer, books, and autobiographies from saints allow us to do both of these things, but wouldn’t it be great if we could actually step into that reality?
Nestled in the small town of Emmitsburg, Maryland, is a place that checks those boxes and more. The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton has something for everyone, which reflects the kind of person Elizabeth Ann Seton was. She was a devoted wife and mother, as well as a convert to Catholicism, and later became one of the most pivotal figures in Catholic education. It was there in Emmitsburg that she founded the first American congregation of women, the Sisters of Charity, which has impacted the lives of so many and continues to do so today.
Here are 4 things you need to do when you visit The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton:
  • Schedule in time to visit the basilica. Something you’ll never find in secular museums and historic sites is the opportunity to attend Mass, go to Confession, and see Jesus in Adoration. Whether it’s the first place you see or the last stop before you leave, do take time to go there. 
  • Drop by and share a special prayer intention to St. Elizabeth Ann in the altar of relics. Mother Seton’s remains are entombed in the altar of relics inside the basilica, and people often note that they  can sense her presence when they pray beside the altar. (Tip: Sister Pat Newhouse, SC, shared with us that some people have written down their prayer intentions and placed them under a personal statue they have of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Needless to say, their prayers were answered not long after — some of which were about miraculous healing, too!)
  • Learn more through the interactive Living History program. See what life was like when Mother Seton was still alive. You don’t just get to learn about her story, you can become a part of it too, through conversations, hands-on activities, and more. 
  • Read about her life and family in the Seton Family Treasures exhibit. Did you know that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton had a romantic marriage to her husband William Magee Seton (we have their sweet love letters to prove it)? You can see the letters she and her husband wrote to each other in this uniquely curated exhibit. You’ll also get to see her signature bonnet there!
Bonus Tip: If you happen to be in the area during the fall (typically in October), do check out their Back from the Dead Cemetery Walks. For one hour you’ll be guided in the dark by candlelight, and you get to meet different saints, martyrs, and angelic messengers that have come back from the dead. St. Isaac Jogues, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton are among the people you’ll get to meet. This unique and interactive event is a great way to bring your family and friends together. A beautiful part about this is that Confessions will be available throughout the night. 
What are you waiting for? See history come to life through the beautiful Seton Shrine and in our first episode of Historia Vitae: Treasures of Our Faith

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