Presenter Information

Judith Metz S.C.


This article explores the origin and depth of devotion to the Word of God that permeated Elizabeth Bayley Seton’s life and informed her spirituality. The future saint’s early years were suffused with scripture at home and in Anglican/Episcopal services she attended. The deep devotion this engendered was enhanced by her love for poetry, prose, and song. Through her early adult life she was spiritually nourished by the cadences of scripture and the hymns that filled liturgical celebrations. During a brief hiatus during her early adult years, Elizabeth broadened her scope to embrace a variety of intellectual influences. However, her devotion to scripture rekindled as deep family crises engulfed her. The comfort and strength she gained through reliance on her Bible assisted her in navigating enormous changes in her religious, economic, and social circumstances. At the time she converted to Catholicism, the ethos of the U. S. Catholic Church encouraged her to continue this focus. In addition to acquiring her own Catholic edition of the Bible, she deepened her immersion in the scriptures as evidenced by the numerous reflections, prayers, verses, and letters she wrote.