Get to know our saints

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Story

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Mother Seton is one of the keystones of the American Catholic Church. She founded the first American religious community for women, the Sisters of Charity. She opened the first American parish school and established the first American Catholic orphanage. All this she did in the span of 46 years while raising her five children. A Convert, wife, mother, widow, teacher, religious-Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton did it all. Yet, in many ways, she was an ordinary woman of her time. {www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-elizabeth-ann-seton/}

“The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills it; and thirdly to do it because it is his will”. “I will go peaceably and firmly to the Catholic Church: for if Faith is so important to our salvation, I will seek it where true Faith first began, seek it among those who received it from God Himself”. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton {www.catholicsaints.info/saint-elizabeth-ann-seton}

Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara

Kuriakose ( Cyriac) Elias Chavara was born on February 10, 1805 of pious and devout Catholic parents. On 8th September 1805 the child Kuriakose was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Marian shrine. After his early schooling and priestly studies he was ordained priest in 1829. In 1831, co-operating with Fr. Thomas Palackal and Fr. Thomas Porukara, he founded the first indigenous religious congregation for men, now known as the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI). In 1866, with the co-operation of Fr. Leopold Boccaro OCD, he started the Religious Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC) for women. Essentially a man of prayer and intense charity, he lived in close communion with the Lord amidst his several religious and social activities. Owing to his deep spirituality that permeated all his actions, he was accepted and referred to as a man of God, from his early years. He was canonized a saint on 23 November 2014 by Pope Francis.

“A good Christian family is the image of heaven. The communion of those who bound by ties of blood and affection, living together duly respecting and obeying parents, conforming to God and men, trying to attain the union with God according to ones own vocation; constitute a real family”. {St. Cahavara}

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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A relic is a piece of the body of a saint, an item owned or used by the saint, or an object which has been touched to the tomb of a saint.

There are three classes of sacred relics. The first-class is a part of the saints body. (It is this type which is placed in an altar stone.) The second-class is a piece of the saints clothing or something used by the saint, while the third-class is an object which has been touched to a first-class relic. There are several scriptural passages that support the veneration of relics. For example, the Israelites took Josephs bones when they departed Egypt (Ex. 13:19). The bones of Elisha came in contact with a dead person who then was raised to life (2 Kings 13:21). The same Elisha took the mantle of Elijah and fashioned a miracle with it (2 Kings 2:13). The Christians of Ephesus, by using handkerchiefs and cloths touched to St. Pauls skin, effected the healing of the sick (Acts 19:12). www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/church-teaching-on-relics.html

Christian belief in the power of relics, the physical remains of a holy site or holy person, or objects with which they had contact, is as old as the faith itself and developed alongside it. Relics were more than mementos. The New Testament refers to the healing power of objects that were touched by Christ or his apostles. The body of the saint provided a spiritual link between life and death, between man and God: “Because of the grace remaining in the martyr, they were an inestimable treasure for the holy congregation of the faithful.” Fueled by the Christian belief in the afterlife and resurrection, in the power of the soul, and in the role of saints as advocates for humankind in heaven, the veneration of relics in the Middle Ages came to rival the sacraments in the daily life of the medieval church. Indeed, from the time of Charlemagne, it was obligatory that every altar contain a relic.