This is part of a yearlong series about the early days of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, foundress of the community. In 1850, the Emmitsburg-based Sisters united with the international community of the French Daughters of Charity.
On September 14, 1975, Mother Seton was recognized by the global church for what many of her devotees already saw her as – the first American-born saint of the Roman Catholic Church!
The Daughters of Charity Provincial Archive contains significant information about the process of Mother Seton’s canonization, including the introduction and advocacy of the cause, correspondence, and investigation into her virtues and miracles. However, the 23 canonization scrapbooks in the archive reflect what individual people experienced while the event was taking place, both in Rome and in the United States.
Some scrapbooks do not have a name attached to them, but contain many newspaper clippings from around the country about the event, along with American and Vatican memorabilia.
Other scrapbooks reflect group pilgrimages, such as that of the Emmitsburg Community Chorus, donated to the archives in 2000.
Still more gather photos of that magnificent day in the Eternal City.
Donors include sisters, priests, supporters of the cause, and members of the Mother Seton Guild, one of the leading groups advocating for the cause.
Taken collectively, these scrapbooks show the effect that Mother Seton’s canonization had on the community and Catholics around the world at a very specific moment in 1975.