National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is one of the most prominent sites in the United States. Located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, this shrine honors the life and legacy of the first American-born saint to be canonized by the Catholic Church. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and inspiring symbolism, it’s no wonder that this shrine has become a popular destination for pilgrims from around the world. Let’s look at this remarkable site and all it has to offer.

From its humble beginnings as a small church in 1809 to its present-day status as a national shrine and sacred pilgrimage site, the journey of The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton has been extraordinary. As the birthplace and final resting place of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821), this shrine serves as a powerful reminder of her incredible impact on both the Church and society at large. Over two centuries later, her legacy continues to shape our understanding of Christian faith and service today.

Whether you are a devout Catholic or simply someone looking for a spiritual respite from everyday life, The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton offers something special for everyone who visits it. From its awe-inspiring architecture and reverent atmosphere to its many programs designed to educate visitors about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s life and message, this shrine is sure to leave you with a lasting impression.

Background of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

A woman named Elizabeth Ann Seton was born in New York City on August 28th, 1774. She was the only child of wealthy parents, and received an excellent education. At the age of 19 she married William Magee Seton, who ran a successful business in New York City. She had five children with him before he died due to tuberculosis in 1803, leaving her widowed at 29.

During this time, Elizabeth experienced a spiritual conversion and converted to Roman Catholicism, something highly unusual for the time period. Her conversion caused much consternation among her Protestant friends and family; however, she remained strong in her faith and became an advocate for Catholic education in America. In 1809 she founded the Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg, making her the first native-born American saint canonized by the Catholic Church.

The National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is located at the historic Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The shrine honors St. Elizabeth’s life and legacy through various activities such as retreats, prayer services, lectures, concerts and other special events throughout the year. These activities focus on her devotion to God and service to others.

The Shrine is also home to several artifacts related to her life. These include portraits and letters that provide insight into her mission work during the early 19th century. Visitors can also explore two museums dedicated to St. Elizabeth’s life: The Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Museum which offers interactive exhibits about her life and work; and The Margaret George Museum which explores her role as an educator within the Catholic Church during this time period.

Through these resources, visitors can learn more about St. Elizabeth’s incredible legacy. They can also gain further understanding of why she is so venerated today by Catholics worldwide.

Location of the Shrine

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. It serves as a place of pilgrimage and prayer for all who come to honor Elizabeth Ann Seton’s life and legacy. The Shrine is situated on grounds that formerly belonged to St. Joseph’s College and Seminary, which was founded by Elizabeth’s son-in-law, William Seton, in 1809.

The Shrine includes the original chapel where Elizabeth prayed, as well as two museums dedicated to her life and work. Visitors can also explore the grounds of the former St. Joseph’s College and Seminary. Here, they will find a replica blacksmith shop, a carpenter’s shop, an apiary, and a herb garden.

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton offers many opportunities for visitors to reflect upon her life and legacy. From guided tours of the museum exhibits to outdoor activities such as walking trails and bird watching, there is something for everyone at this beautiful shrine.

History Of The Shrine

Moving on from the Shrine’s location, let’s look at its history. The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was founded in 1960. Located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, it was established by the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s to honor their foundress and first native-born citizen of the United States who was canonized a saint by the Catholic Church: Elizabeth Ann Seton.

The Shrine serves as a place for pilgrims to come and learn more about her life and teachings as well as pray for intercession through her intercession. It offers tours, events, exhibits and other activities that help visitors learn more about her life and ministry.

The Shrine also has a museum where visitors can view artifacts related to Mother Seton’s life, such as furniture she used, books she wrote and personal letters she wrote to family and friends. Additionally, one can find many artworks related to her life in the museum including several paintings of her done by artists from around the world. All these help us to better understand this remarkable woman who served God so faithfully throughout her life.

Description Of The Shrine

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is a sacred place of pilgrimage located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. It is the birthplace and tomb of St. Elizabeth Seton, the first native-born U.S. citizen to be canonized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. The shrine includes a number of historic sites, churches, and chapels that honor her life and legacy. Visitors can explore the many buildings dedicated to her memory, including her home and grave site.

The main shrine area greets visitors with an outdoor plaza that leads to a chapel built in her memory. Inside the chapel are numerous artifacts related to St. Elizabeth’s life, such as a replica of her wedding dress and other relics associated with her work for charity and education throughout her lifetime. The church also houses several murals depicting scenes from her life as well as stained glass windows honoring her memory.

The grounds of the National Shrine contain several other buildings that tell stories about St. Elizabeth’s life and works, including the Motherhouse where she lived for many years and founded the Sisters of Charity; a museum featuring portraits, photographs and artifacts; an archive library; two retreat centers; and an outdoor prayer garden.

Visitors can also explore walking trails around the site or visit one of three gift shops filled with religious items related to St. Elizabeth’s life or related topics such as faith formation or devotionals honoring saints like St. Francis or St. Clare of Assisi. With so much history on display at this revered national shrine, it is no wonder that hundreds of people flock here each year to learn more about this remarkable woman’s legacy in America’s history and faith tradition.

Devotional Opportunities At The Shrine

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton offers visitors numerous devotional opportunities. From the moment you step through its doors, you are welcomed into a place of peace and serenity. The Shrine is home to several chapels, each with its own unique atmosphere and beauty.

The main chapel is the centerpiece of the shrine. Here, one can take part in the daily Mass and other liturgies as well as private prayer and reflection. Adjacent to the main chapel are several smaller chapels for more intimate devotional times. These chapels offer guests a more personal connection with God through prayer and meditation.

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton also offers spiritual retreats throughout the year, providing a chance for those seeking guidance or renewal to find it in a tranquil setting. Additionally, there are many religious artifacts on display that help visitors learn about her life and legacy. Through these devotional opportunities, all who visit this sacred space will find solace and grace.

Events at The Shrine

At the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, visitors can attend special events throughout the year. These include special Masses and prayer services, retreats and workshops, musical performances, and lectures. During these events, one may reflect on their faith or learn more about St. Elizabeth’s life and legacy.

One of the most popular events is the annual Eucharistic Procession. This procession takes place each summer and brings thousands of people to Emmitsburg for a day-long celebration of the Blessed Sacrament. The day begins with a solemn Mass followed by a procession through historic downtown Emmitsburg. Participants come to honor St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and remember her charitable works. They carry the Blessed Sacrament through town on a decorated float while singing hymns in her honor.

The Shrine also hosts many other events including an annual Memorial Day Celebration featuring patriotic music, a Veterans’ Remembrance Ceremony held each November 11th, and festive Christmas celebrations each December. All are invited to join in these special occasions that help us remember our patroness saint and her outstanding example of charity and sacrifice for others.

Impact on Catholic Faith

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton has had a profound and lasting impact on the Catholic faith. This shrine honors Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was the first person in the United States to be canonized by the Catholic Church. She was a convert from Protestantism, and her life and writings have been an inspiration to Catholics throughout America. Her legacy is one that continues to be celebrated at this national shrine.

The shrine itself provides a place for pilgrims to come together, reflect upon the life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, and honor her memory. In addition, the shrine offers educational programs to help deepen visitors’ understanding of Catholicism, as well as spiritual retreats and resources for those seeking guidance in their faith journey. Through these programs, visitors are able to learn more about Catholic teachings, including those related to social justice issues.

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton serves as a reminder of the importance of faith in our lives. It is also a testament to how one person’s actions can have such a profound effect on generations to come. By visiting this special place of pilgrimage and reflection, visitors can gain insight into how we can all make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others.


The National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is truly a special place for devoted and curious alike. It’s a powerful reminder of her remarkable life and strong faith, which has inspired millions of Catholics around the world. As we continue to learn more about her life, we can learn from her example and use it to strengthen our own faith.

Visiting the Shrine provides us with many opportunities to deepen our devotion to God and to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. From attending religious events at the Shrine, such as Mass or special celebrations, to simply taking some time out of our day for prayer and reflection – there’s something for everyone here. Each visit offers something different and I’m sure you’ll leave feeling closer to God than when you arrived.

In conclusion, I encourage all Catholics to visit the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton if they have not already done so. It’s an incredible experience that will surely touch your heart and fill you with renewed faith in God. Through understanding her story better, we can come closer to living out our own lives in accordance with God’s will. This is just like St. Elizabeth Ann Seton did throughout hers.

Official Website

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Location Map and Hours

Thursday – Saturday
10 AM–5 PM

12–5 PM

Monday – Tuesday
10 AM–5 PM

10 AM–7:30 PM

339 S Seton Ave, Emmitsburg, MD 21727

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