Distance from Monmouth County, NJ: 3.5 hours
Hey, everyone! Last weekend we visited the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. What’s better than saints and America?
If you’re a Catholic from NJ, NY, PA, or MD and are interested in visiting a pilgrimage site that is not too far from home I would recommend this shrine. Not only is it an awesome experience to visit the home of the first American saint, but the basilica and grounds were beautiful, too.
I did not realize how active and important Saint Seton was to the development of education in the United States. When she first opened her school, she catered specifically to lower-income families and orphans. Her education system was so profound that soon after wealthy families wanted their children educated by her, also. I did not realize either how active her order was in caring for soldiers during the Civil War, more specifically on their way to Gettysburg.
The museum had a lot of interesting artifacts from her journals, her wedding band, her signature black bonnet, etc. We also saw where she lived, her private chapel rooms, her classrooms, her tomb, and a true relic.
One of my favorite parts about the shrine was the atmosphere. Although many visitors were touring the grounds and buildings, there was still a special reverence about the place. The regular museum aspect of the shrine was in full play. Yet, adoration was still being held, pilgrims were praying, confessions were being heard, and mass was about to begin.
This post is not too long. I just wanted to share this awesome experience with you guys. As always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, concerns, or recommendations!