‘Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is a Saint! She is the first daughter of the United States of America to be glorified with this incomparable attribute! But what do we mean when we say: “She is a Saint?’ We all have some idea of the meaning of this highest title; but it is still difficult for us to make an exact analysis of it. Being a Saint means being perfect, with a perfection that attains the highest level that a human being can reach. A Saint is a human creature fully conformed to the will of God. A Saint is a person in whom all sin - the principle of death - is cancelled out and replaced by the living splendour of divine grace. The analysis of the concept of sanctity brings us to recognise in a soul the mingling of two elements that are entirely different but which come together to produce a single effect: sanctity. One of these elements is the human and moral element, raised to the degree of heroism: heroic virtues are always required by the Church for the recognition of a person’s sanctity. The second element is the mystical element, which express the measure and form of divine action in the person chosen by God to realise in herself - always in an original way - the image of Christ (Cf. Rom. 8:29).
The science of sanctity is therefore the most interesting, the most varied, the most surprising and the most fascinating of all the studies of that ever mysterious being which is man. The Church has made this study of the life, that is, the interior and exterior history, of Elizabeth Ann Seton. And the Church has exulted with admiration and joy, and has today heard her own charism of truth poured out in the exclamation that we send up to God and announce to the world: She is a Saint!’
from the homily given at the Mass of Canonisation of St Elizabeth Ann Seton, 14 September 1975
by Pope St Paul VI, 1897-1978
O God, who didst crown with the gift of true faith Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s burning zeal to find thee:
grant by her intercession and example; that we may always seek thee with diligent love
and find thee in daily service with sincere faith; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Divine Worship: The Missal
Fr Lee Kenyon
Priest, Husband, Father, Lancastrian, Mancunian