Patron Saint of Catholic schools, widows, and seafarers
On the fourth of January 1821, Elizabeth Ann Seton breathed her last breath. Her favorite prayer, quoted above, was ever on her lips as she lay dying at the age of forty-six. In a last heroic effort, she whispered the name Jesus as she entered into eternity.
“Be true children of the Church!” This was her final exhortation to the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph, the religious order that she founded, and family members gathered at her bedside. It will always be good advice for her brother and sister Americans and people all over the world.
At first, the Church in the United States of America was small. Mother Seton had exhausted her last bit of strength to help lay the foundations. From her first entrance into the one and only Church built by Christ until she drew her dying breath, Elizabeth Ann Seton had one mission in mind: to see God’s glory manifest in America.