Movie review….relax by a fire with this one tonight


On this lovely feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Baley Seton, I would like to offer a movie review.

A Time for Miracles is the story of our first native-born American Saint, who was a convert from the Episcopal Church….a married woman, mother of five, and widow.  (I have a special affection for married  saints, since there are so few, and I think marriage should be more highly esteemed as a path to holiness.)

However, back to the movie.  This movie was produced for television shortly after Elizabeth was canonized on September 14, 1975.  Kate Mulgrew, an excellent actress who happens to be Catholic, played the title role.  Included, are scenes from the actual canonization ceremony.

I was impressed by the quality of this movie, its faithfulness to her life story, and its reverence for Catholicism…especially for the Most Blessed Sacrament, to which Elizabeth was irresistibly drawn.  It was her deep love for the Holy Eucharist which was the impetus of her conversion.  This choice caused her much suffering in anti-Catholic New England, and she and her children were virtually abandoned by extended family and friends.  A woman of great courage, Elizabeth continued undaunted in her new Faith, even though she and her children had to live in poverty.

But God had great plans for this beloved daughter of His, and she soon was chosen to found the first Catholic school in the United States, and eventually, the American branch of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul

After years of hard work, and losing two of her precious children to illness, Elizabeth died in her forties of tuberculosis..  She is a most lovable Saint, always patient and kind to both her children, and the young women who came to join the Order.

If you have never seen this movie, I highly recommend it.  Most of all, I encourage everyone to get to know this wonderful Saint, who suffered so much during her short life, but whose love for Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament consumed her heart, and brought her to ecstasy in His Presence.


Yes, my soul, the moment approaches, the supreme moment of my life; our King comes; our merciful , compassionate Jesus, the King of Glory, the God or our hearts and our portion forever.  He comes not with His thousand thousands attending, but in sweet gentle smiles of peace.  He waits in silence at our door; no pomp of majesty presses round Him, but clothed in the humble veils of His love, He seeks only the repose of a pure and faithful heart.  “Give Me, your heart, My child,” He says, “it is all I ask.”  My King, my God, enter in mine, humble, poor, indeed, but earnestly desirous of pleasing You.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

For a truly beautiful, biographical article on St. Elizabeth Seton, visit Vultus Christi.


14 thoughts on “Movie review….relax by a fire with this one tonight

  1. I second the encouragement to relax with this one! Out of a possible 6 stars if I were giving them, I’d give this one 10 :). I was so thrilled when it came out on DVD!

    • I’m so old that I actually saw it when it was released in the 70’s 🙂 But like you, am so happy to own the DVD. I just fell in love with St. Elizabeth the very first time I saw the movie. Hmm, aren’t you in The Trouble with Angels club too? And how about This House of Brede? I watched The Nun’s Story the other night…just love that one… and Audrey Hepburn. Hate that she left though… Is there a pattern here? LOL! Love you, Nancy!

      • Sorry, but I can’t hush when we’re having “movie time!” Just pass the popcorn to stop my babbling. I first had A Time for Miracles on a blurry VHS tape that a friend made from t.v. Yes, I’m in the Trouble with Angels club, and have spent a lot of time at Brede Abbey as well. Mother Mary Clancy has remained content in St. Francisville and is in her 60s by now. I’m the same age as she, and her friend Rachel could have been based on my own young-teenage persona (I even wore my hair the exact same way, and had the same gray convent school uniform blazer). Mother Mary Clancy probably writes a blog on the virtues to be learned from washing pots.

        • Nancy, I think you really might just BE Mary Clancy!!! 🙂 Don’t you ever hush, or I’ll take away your popcorn! It’s just too much fun to chat about all of this stuff. Do you think we all love the Trouble With Angels because it reminds us of our Catholic school days with the nuns….when there really were nuns in habits with rules and all that? If Mother Mary Clancy is out there, she doesn’t know it, but she has a big fan club! As for you, Nancy, how about producing a photo of yourself in your gray uniform with your Mary Clancy hairdo? Double-dare you! 🙂 xoxo

          • I’m glad I checked back in here as the evening begins, because this is so much fun. Definitely the Trouble with Angels reminds me of convent school… especially since mine was a boarding school like theirs. I boarded for exactly 2 weeks before becoming a day-student (thankfully the school was only a half hour drive from my home!). Don’t have any photos of me in the uniform, but do in the hairdo. Which was actually a Mary’s-friend-Rachel-do (kind of “upside down ponytail” atop the head), and I was much more of a Rachel than a Mary… I had no scathingly brilliant ideas, but I was willing to go along with them :). I do have ancient photos of me with the hairdo….. was that a double-dog-dare?

  2. You know Patricia I don’t believe I’ve seen this one, though I’m glad you brought up the other titles. I watched Trouble With Angels last week with my daughter and then after she went to bed, The Nun’s Story. Nunned out, as she would say! I found myself daydreaming about how many years it would have been since Mary Clancey’s profession, as if!

    I agree with what you said about married saints and marriage being a path to holiness. My own grandmother was widowed suddenly with 5 children to manage, the youngest of whom was 5 months old. I think this is why my mother also has such an affinity for St Elizabeth Seton. She always says she prays to her mother, not for her, because she believes she is a saint in Heaven. Patient, persevering and always faithful. I had not seen the Communion prayer you posted above. It reads like something Therese might have written. I think this is a disposition at which I need to work harder than I have.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Joyce, I remember your attachment to “The Trouble with Angels,” from a post where this was brought up a year or so ago 🙂 And The Nun Story too, huh? We really are quite the crowd here! I’m sure you would love this one, as well as This House of Brede..Benedictines, I recall. (Calling Caroline!)
      So, when you recover from the other night, maybe you can convince Rebecca to watch those two with you as well.

      Religious life has such a purity about it…such an undivided heart and a single minded focus on God. But marriage and children and battling the culture while paying bills, caring for aging parents, and sharing your life with the same person for decades is no small feat. Throw in there the unexpected…like serious illnesses, fertility issues, children with problems, loss of jobs, etc. etc. It all can be quite overwhelming, and I know that there have been many days when I longed to run away to a monastery and live in silence and simplicity.

      I think the time is coming for married Saints though. You hear more about them…like St. Gianna, Therese’s parents, Elizabeth Lesuer, etc.
      Thanks for stopping by, dear Joyce…and so very happy you are back xo

  3. I’ve never seen this one, Patrica. I’m so glad you reviewed it. I don’t own may DVD’s but since all I watch on cable is EWTN, the cooking channel or old movies, I need to start a collection. My husband and I watched the Nun’s Story when it was on last year. I was so sorry for that ending though : ( I think you make a great point about learning more from married saints as a guide to holiness.

    The Trouble With Angels…you know that’s one of my all time favorites! Save a seat for me and I’ll being some tea and biscotti’s!
    Love you xxxxoooo +

    • Caroline, the cooking channel? You too? It’s my default channel on the TV — not that I ever really get around to cooking all that good stuff. I just love to watch. I’m an Iron Chef fan, and I love the Pioneer gal, and of course, Giada, etc.

      I really think you would love this movie too. It is, after all, about nuns, LOL. However, In this House of Brede is about Benedictine nuns! Oh heck, I know we all really want to be Mary Clancy, cause she was so much fun!

      I was surprised at the reverence with which this film was made. They do not gloss over her attraction to the Holy Eucharist. You can definitely see that in the movie. She is a lovely Saint, for mothers and teachers and all women.

      Wouldn’t you love to rewrite the ending of The Nun’s Story? I thought she was a very holy nun. It was a great movie…never get tired of that one either.

      I honestly think that if we all lived near each other, there really would be a movie night, and husbands would scatter at the sound of monastery bells and chanting… What fun! Love you too…… Is that homemade biscotti???

      • Yes….but I haven’t mastered the biscotti yet. I’m afraid I’d have to bring the tray over from my mom’s. : ) They’re reeaaly good. I love to watch the Barefoot Contessa. She’s so peaceful while she’s cooking and very hospitable. Always got someone coming over for a special meal she’s prepared.

        Oh– that nun’s movie had me going for a few days thinking about how I would have changed the ending…I thought she was a holy nun, too. And if she got married after she left, they should have made a Part II… she may have been tempted to run back to the monastery with a whole set of different challenges as you mentioned. : )

        I’m so glad to hear you say you think the time is coming for married saints. Families today need their example and intercession. Such sad times.
        Love and Blessings +

    • Hi Colleen….I think you would really enjoy this movie about such a strong, yet kind and witty woman, who was a wonderful wife and mother. She came from a very wealthy family, and was involved in all the high society trappings early in her life…until her husband’s business failed, and then he got tuberculosis and died. I think she was about 29 then. It’s remarkable all that she accomplished in the relatively few years remaining until her death. Hope you get a chance to see it!
      There is a lovely one about Dorothy Day too…Ignatius Press has a huge catalog of wonderful movies, but you could probably rent them as well. I remember when St. Elizabeth was canonized (were you born yet? 🙂 Everyone was excited, because she was the first native-born American Saint. It was a proud moment.
      I can’t remember the name of the Dorothy Day movie, but I bet Nancy knows…and maybe she will tell us 🙂 Love you…have a great weekend! xo

  4. Patricia,

    I just had to come and read all the comments after you mentioned this post on my blog earlier today. I can just imagine you all sitting around the fire watching and discussing and enjoying these old movies. I’d be sitting in front of the air conditioner, not the fire, after our day of catastrophic bushfire danger! It is evening but still hot.

    I haven’t seen The Nun’s Story but I did read the book, and yes, I was disappointed with the ending too. I think the nun missed the point. Or maybe the author missed it. It could have been so much better, such a lesson for all of us.

    I do have This House of Brede which is waiting to be watched. I finished the book a couple of months ago and I enjoyed every page. That was a real treat.

    I will look out for A Time for Miracles. I would also feel encouraged by watching the story of a married saint.

    Thanks for sharing this review. I’ve enjoyed chatting movies. I don’t seem to get around to watching many but now I want to hunt out This House of Brede. (I buy DVDs but rarely watch them!!)

    God bless!

  5. Hi Patricia, I would love to see this movie. I’m hoping I can find it in my library or within their inter library loan system. Did you buy yours online? It does sound like a wonderful movie to watch by a fire.

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