Maryland’s Catholic Heritage the Highlight of New Visitor Center and Museum at the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
In fall 2023, the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Seton unveiled a new $4 million visitor center and museum dedicated to the first American-born saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton.
The historic site and shrine preserves the location in Frederick County, Maryland where Seton settled in 1809 after converting to Catholicism. She opened a school for girls and became known throughout the U.S. as an advocate for Catholic education. Known for her care and compassion for others, Seton was long celebrated as a vital figure in the development of the Church in early America. She was canonized as a saint in Rome in 1975.
The new exhibitions at the Seton Shrine use interactive tools, video and one-of-a-kind artifacts to tell the story of her incredible life and charitable works, while tours of historic buildings on the property show where she lived and taught in the early 19th century.
The Seton Shrine basilica is an architectural wonder, providing a space to reflect on Seton's works and her faith. Tours at the basilica offer opportunities to reflect on Seton's life and legacy.
Located just 15 minutes from Gettysburg National Military Park, Seton Shrine is a great accompaniment to a visit to that famous American battlefield. Women from Seton's "Sisters of Charity" provided nursing care on the battlefield in July 1863 after the Battle of Gettysburg.
Seton Shrine is located in Emmitsburg, a historic Maryland Main Street with centuries of history tied to Catholic education (Mount St. Mary's University is located just outside town) and the American Civil War. A visit to the Seton Shrine also pairs perfectly with a stop at the Carriage House Inn, a group-friendly restaurant located in an 1857 building that has been recently upgraded and renovated.
Nearby Catholic heritage sites also include the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes, a 19th-century replica of the Grotto of Lourdes in France built by seminarians studying at Mount St. Mary's University.
Courtesy of Visit Frederick.
Photos Courtesy of Visit Frederick.