How Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Helped Me During the Early Months of the COVID- 19 Pandemic

David von Schlichten


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As COVID-19 shut down the world in the early months of 2020, professor and writer David von Schlichten decided to keep a diary to help him cope with the crisis. As a scholar of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, von Schlichten recalled her journal that she kept while she and her dying husband and daughter were under quarantine in 1803. They had been forced into a lazaretto upon arriving in Italy due to fears among the Italians that the family might carry yellow fever, which was ravaging New York, the Setons's home city. Elizabeth wrote about the ordeal in detail that is heart-breaking, mystical, poetic, and inspiring. In Quarantine: How Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Helped Me Through the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic, von Schlichten shares his diary written during the first three months of the pandemic. He writes candidly about his struggles and doubts while also offering an insightful analysis of Seton's quarantine journal and what it has to say to us today. Quarantine is an accessible, intelligent, spiritual, and heartfelt reflection on the power of Seton's wise words of hope for any crisis.


David von Schlichten:
David von Schlichten is associate professor of Religious Studies at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, where he is also the coordinator of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program. He is the author of Words Fitly Spoken: Biblical Guidance for More Powerful Preaching (2008).