It was a random afternoon and I had somehow found myself searching through a plethora of tiny little charms on a website called Tiny Saints. Having little to no idea about any Saint—much less the significance of any of the Saints—I was most definitely out of my element. The tiny charms were adorable and they looked like any of them would make a cute accessory on a lanyard or a child’s backpack.
But at the time I wasn’t Catholic, and the huge selection of Saints to choose from was overwhelming.
Looking for a Gift… Receiving a Gift
You might be wondering, how could someone who was not Catholic find themselves on a website such as Tiny Saints? I was searching for a gift, and although I wasn’t sure if I believed in the idea of Saints at the time, I knew my friend did, and I thought it would be a cute gift for her to add to her lanyard as we headed back to work that fall (she works in a school and carries her work badge on a lanyard).
Not knowing much about the Saints, I could’ve easily just read the small information box underneath the charm that stated what the Saint was the patron of, found something relatable to my friend on a surface level, and called it a day. However, I wanted to pick a Saint that I felt would be the perfect one for my friend. I searched and read biographies of each Saint that caught my eye. Looking back, this tells me that I believed in the intercession of Saints more than I realized at the time.
After consuming information about several Saints, I found one: I settled on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.
A Patron Chose Me
As I read about each Saint, I was trying to determine how and if they related to my friend. Elizabeth and my friend Jessee have many similarities: both are widows, converts, and dedicated to children’s education. I felt excited as I placed my order and waited for the tiny Saint to arrive.
But I’m not good at keeping a gift a surprise.
The next time I saw my friend, I had to tell her I had something coming for her. It didn’t take long until she pulled it out of me. Having no idea confirmation Saints even existed, I happily told her that I had chosen Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton for her Saint charm. I was confused when I was met with skepticism from my friend.
She said something like, “Are you being serious?”
Great, I thought, Maybe the Saint I picked offended her. Was that even possible? After all, what did I think I was doing ordering a tiny Saint for someone when I wasn’t even Catholic?
After confirming that I had indeed bought her Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s charm she said, “She is my confirmation Saint . . . that’s so weird you had no idea, yet you picked her for me.”
I definitely thought it was weird. In that moment, a piece of me wondered if God had played a part in the whole thing. I can say with certainty now that He did, and I believe He must have known that soon I would grow to admire Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton very much myself.
The Saint Who Started My Conversion
Months later, I found myself prepared to convert to Catholicism. I had read almost anything I could get my hands on and was overjoyed, feeling like I needed to make up for lost time and learn as much as possible about Catholicism.
One day, I decided to read a bit more about Elizabeth. I noticed the similarities between us almost immediately, just as I had seen the similarities between Elizabeth and my friend Jessee, yet Jessee and I are in completely different seasons of life. Sure, some similarities between Jessee and I were shared with Elizabeth, but not all of them. I began to wonder, is Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton the most relatable Saint?
She can comfort those working with children in education, in difficult marriages, widows, parents of sick children, converts, those dealing with friends and family members that do not support their Catholic faith, financial difficulties, and the list could go on. Now, obviously, I can recognize that I find Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton relatable because I of course relate to her greatly in some ways. I converted to Catholicism and struggled initially with family members who had a difficult time accepting my conversion, and I understand what it is like to be married to someone who does not prioritize religion on the same level that I do. All of these things have drawn me to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton; however, I think a lot of women could find her relatable in one way or another.
Following Jesus No Matter What
The most inspiring thing about Elizabeth is that through all of the challenges she faced, she was steadfast in her beliefs and remained incredibly dedicated to following Jesus throughout her life. I encourage you to read more about Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and see if there is at least one thing you can relate to her on, and if so, ask her to pray for you today. Knowing that Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton faced many obstacles of her own and remained so dedicated to pursuing a stronger relationship with God throughout it all brings hope to many women currently struggling with similar obstacles.
I love having my Tiny Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton on my keychain as a reminder to strive to live such a faith-centered life just as she did. Consider buying a Tiny Saint for yourself as a reminder to pray and also as a reminder that we are all on our own hopeful journey to becoming saints.
Lexie Karlin is a teacher located in Kansas City where she lives with her husband and their Siberian Husky, Dolly. She recently converted from Methodism to Catholicism and is still enjoying learning all there is to know about the amazing Catholic faith.