Today is the feast day of St. Elizabeth Anne Seton, the founder of the Daughters of Charity. It was she who established this St. Vincent’s Hospital. Elizabeth was a wealthy Protestant New Yorker, and when her husband failed with tuberculosis, she brought him to the warm climate of southern Italy.
As her husband was dying there, she and her children received much kindness from Italian Catholics. Back in America, Elizabeth became a Catholic, and took over a school in Emmetsburg Maryland.
Her Daughters of Charity flourished for two centuries; and Jacksonville, as well as all of this the country, benefitted from their great kindness. People walking the hallways here at St. Vincent’s love to stare at the many Sisters in their wild headgear. We miss them very much.
However, we should think of them as passing the torch on to us. Without wearing any hats at all, our nurses, our teachers, our Vincent DePaul ladies are caring on the same Lord’s work here now.