National Shrine Selected as Site for “Door of Mercy”

Emmitsburg, MD — The Basilica of The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton has been chosen by the Archdiocese of Baltimore as a site for a Door of Mercy, as part of Pope Francis’s Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Year of Mercy, which begins December 8 in Rome, encourages people to encounter the mercy and love of God, as well as to be merciful with others.

“We’re so pleased that Archbishop Lori has designated our Basilica as one of the few sites of a Door of Mercy in the Baltimore Archdiocese,” said Rob Judge, Executive Director of The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. “It’s such an extraordinary gesture by Pope Francis to ask every bishop around the world to designate Doors of Mercy. With numerous ones throughout the world, the Pope is demonstrating that God’s mercy is available and accessible to all. It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to experience the love of God, who consoles and instills hope.”

The Seton Shrine’s Door of Mercy will be opened at Mass on December 13, and will remain open until the Year of Mercy ends in November 2016. “Designating Doors of Mercy throughout the world has never been done before,” said Judge. “We welcome visitors of all faiths to the Shrine and Basilica, and invite them to experience this rare occurrence and walk through our Door of Mercy.”

If you go: The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Guided tours of the Shrine, including the Basilica, historic homes, and the grounds, are available on the hour from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The Basilica at the Shrine is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To plan a visit, please call 301-447-6606 or visit


Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first native-born U.S. saint. The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton promotes her life and legacy as a source of inspiration and encouragement for all people. More than 200 years ago, she came to Emmitsburg as a bankrupt widow with five children, and went on to found the first free Catholic school for girls staffed by sisters in the U.S., and the first community of religious women established in the U.S. Today, her legacy includes several religious communities with thousands of sisters, who serve others through schools, social service centers and hospitals throughout the world. Elizabeth Ann Seton was canonized in 1975. Her remains are entombed at the National Shrine that bears her name.