St. Elizabeth Seton (1774-1821), By One who Knew Her

It may be truly said that Mother Seton’s manner was the secret of her extraordinary influence a happy blending of ardent zeal with maternal sweetness. A moment’s intercourse with her was sufficient to show that she acted foom the deepest convictions of truth, while the kindness which she manifested easily prepared the way for its willing reception by others. This was visible in all the departments of her office as superior of St. Joseph’s Academy. She easily conciliated the esteem and confidence of new comer? to the school, causing them by her affectionate manner to forget the endearments of home, and to feel satisfied and pleased in a position which commonly begets for the pupil the most sorrowful moments. “Never can I forget,” says a lady, alluding to her entering the academy, ” never can I forget my first meeting with our beloved Mother. Separated from my parents and home, a child of but eight years, I alighted from the carriage at St Joseph’s, and felt for the moment I was a stranger. A band of young ladies came forth with joy to meet my travelling companions whom they knew, and in advance of them there walked a lady with outstretched arms, who kindly welcomed and embraced us. So maternal was her manner that she gained my heart at once, and I was happy under the same roof with Mother Seton.”

Charles I. White, D.D.,  Life of Mrs. Eliza A. Seton, Foundress and First Superior of the Sisters or Daughters of Charity in the United States of America (Tenth Edition) (New York: P.J. Kennedy and Sons, 1879), 348-349.

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