In the US there are places which turn you from daily vanity and routine to a spiritual and calm atmosphere. One of them is located at a small Maryland city Emmitsburg, the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Built as a tribute to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton life and achievements, this complex welcomes everyone who wants to make a pilgrimage or simply come to know more about life of the first American saint and Sisters of Charity Federation founder.
Complex of Shrine
The shrine located in Emmitsburg is not only a place devoted to commemoration of Saint Elizabeth. This is also a place where she lived and worked for last 12 years of her life, devoting it to helping poor children and teaching Catholic girls. The whole complex incorporates 5 buildings:
- The Basilica. Initially serving as a chapel for first Sisters of Charity, this basilica has become a testament to her rich heritage. Now it welcomes everyone who wants to visit sermon or simply pay a tribute to St. Elisabeth. Here you can find Elizabeth Ann Seton tomb located just at the bottom of Altar of Relics;
- The Stone House. When people visit it at first, they can’t even imagine that 16 people could live in a house with 4 rooms. Anyway, this was the first house where Elizabeth lived with Sisters. Soon it was expanded to allow more women living there but conditions still reveal life difficulties during the first time;
- The White House. This building, completed after the Stone House, was the second St. Elisabeth and Sisters residence. It reveals conditions where she worked and lived throughout her ministry;
- St. Joseph Cemetery. This is a resting place for most Sisters and Daughters of Charity. History reveals that at summer 1809 Elisabeth’s sister-in-law Harriet was walking there with her when she suddenly threw an apple core under a tree, saying “This is my spot!”. This meant that she wanted her burial place to be here and her will was accomplished when Harriet died 4 months later. She was the first from tens Sisters of Charity resting in piece in this cemetery;
- Seton Shrine Museum. Located on a road to basilica, this museum reveals all details about Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton life and ministry. It also reveals Sisters and Daughters of Charity activities and details about Elisabeth’s posthumous sanctification.
A place you must visit
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine is a place where anyone honoring Sisters of Mercy’s activities should attend. Journey to Emmitsburg will not take long but don’t forget to bring your travel card. It will not only help you make donations and buy souvenirs but also save you much with its free miles on airplane ticket and free nights in the US hotel. Prepare your heart to an unforgettable visit.