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January 4, 2016 – Feast of Elizabeth Ann Seton

As is the custom on this site for the first post of 2014 we remember Elizabeth Ann Seton on this, her feast day. In a round-about way we also celebrate Simon Gabriel Brute.

What does Elizabeth Seton have to do with the history of the Catholic Church in Indiana? She never visited Indiana, but her spirit is here in many ways. One way in which she is present is through her own material possessions. color-elizabethSt. Elizabeth Ann Seton had two bibles and she made extensive notes in them. Both of them are in Indiana. The first at the Brute Library in Vincennes and the other at the University of Notre Dame.

Elizabeth Ann’s spiritual director was our own Simon Brute. It was he who guided her on her journey. Although he was not part of her life when she converted to Catholicism, he was the one who helped her as a struggling superior of a small group of Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Brute first met Elizabeth Seton in 1811. Some say that her holiness came as a result of the holiness of Father Brute. They have been described as “kindred souls”. Four months after Elizabeth Seton’s death, Brute wrote:

I have lost the best of my friends. I feel it, I say it, write it, and more, make it my inexpressible, and inconsolable secret. — No soul has so forcibly excited mine to see what it is to be a priest of my GOD, Pray, my Mother, yes, pray for me, — pray for me whether in Heaven, or still in Purgatory, for a soul who felt so sacredly, and with such light, the holiness of her GOD, had no doubt of Purgatory, had no presumption that it was not for her, feared still itself, yet hoped with infinite peace, and trusted most perfectly her JESUS.

It was Father Brute who saw to it that the papers of Elizabeth Ann Seton were preserved. You can read about this and other aspects of her life by visiting the Seton Shrine web page.

The Sisters who carry on Elizabeth Ann’s work continue to honor Father Brute for his contribution to her quest for holiness.

We hope this day, that Elizabeth Ann Seton and the women who followed her continue to pray for the Cause of Bishop Brute. We urge all who read this to do the same. May 2016 see some movement in the “Cause” of our very own “Servant of God” Simon Brute.

Click the link here to see the Sacramental Record entry for Elizabeth Seton, signed by Simon Brute 1

Here is the prayer for Bishop Brutés canonization:

Heavenly Father,
source of all that is holy,
in every age, you raise up
men and women who live lives
of heroic love and service.

You have blessed your Church
through the life of Simon Brute,
first bishop of Vincennes
and spiritual director
to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Through his prayer, his intellect,
his love, and his pastoral care,
Simon Brute formed future priests
and guided your Church
in the early days of our country.

If it be your will,
may he be proclaimed a saint.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
our Lord.


  1. courtesy of Msgr. Fred Easton[]

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