To commemorate the bicentennial of Elizabeth Ann Seton’s death, the Sisters of Charity of New York have donated artifacts of their Elizabeth Ann Seton to the Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg.
Sr. Donna Dodge, president of the Sisters of Charity of New York, said in a press release about the donation, “These treasures have always had a great significance for us. It is with great joy that we send them on a new mission where more people can appreciate them and draw closer to Mother Seton.”
The artifacts were unveiled and blessed during an event at the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in March. The items will be featured in a special exhibit this summer.
“Our mission, of course, is to promote the life and the legacy of Elizabeth Ann Seton as a source of inspiration and as a source of hope,” said Rob Judge, executive director of the shrine, in a press release. “These artifacts are a tremendous contribution to our ability to tell her story and cover the themes that were important to her in her life and make her relevant today as an example, as an intercessor and a friend from heaven.”
The artifacts include:
Hand-painted wedding porcelain miniatures of Elizabeth Ann Seton and husband, William Magee Seton;
A gold-filigree Seton family brooch worn by Seton on her wedding day;
Seton’s portable writing desk;
The christening gown Seton sewed for her daughter, Catherine;
Seton’s rosary and crucifix;
A tea chest with inlaid decoration that belonged to Seton’s father, Dr. Richard Bayley; and
Seton’s cap, shaw, and belt.
Judge said the artifacts will help tell Seton’s story and her struggles and help people relate to her. “The more she’s relatable, the more she becomes an example, an inspiration, and a friend in heaven for those who visit the shrine or participate in our print and online programs. Mother Seton endured many of the challenges we are enduring in 2021, and therefore provides hope for our nation and the world.”
The shrine’s basilica was dedicated in 1965, and Seton was canonized as America’s first native-born saint in 1975. Her remains were then transferred from the cemetery to the basilica. Pope John Paul II designated it a Minor Basilica in 1991.
The christening gown Seton sewed for her daughter, Catherine
Seton’s rosary and crucifix.