St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, First American Saint

Elizabeth Ann Seton was born in New York City as Elizabeth Ann Bayley in 1774. Brought up as an Episcopalian, she married William M. Seton, heir to a wealthy family, at age 19. With her sister-in-law Rebecca, she went on missions of mercy to help poor widows and children of New York, earning them the nickname the “Protestant Sisters of Charity.” When her husband contracted tuberculosis in 1803, the couple sailed for Italy so he could recuperate. Months later, in Pisa, her husband died. Even then, she continued to believe that the tragedies set before her would one day lead to some good. While in Italy, Elizabeth was taken in by her husband’s friends, and introduced to Catholicism. Upon returning to New York, she joined the Catholic Church.

Looking toward a new future, Elizabeth and her five children moved to Maryland, where she opened a school for girls and formed a community based on the rules of the Sisters of Charity of  St. Vincent de Paul of France. The rule was officially adopted-and the Sisters of Charity became America’s first congregation of women religious. Elizabeth was named Superior, and she worked to establish St. Joseph Academy, a shool for indigent children in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

For the remaining years of her life, Mother Seton, as she was called, and the Sisters worked tirelessly to teach children and establish orphanages, including one in New YOrk. Through their love of Christ, they brought education to the poor and set the groundwork for the parochial school system in the U.S.  Elizabeth Seton is the foundress of the American parochial school system.

In addressing the educational needs of the poor, Elizabeth establshed a school that provided a safe haven for academic education and spiritual learning.


About the Author: Nicetas Juanillo

Writing makes me happy away from home. My website is where you can find my tips about lifestyle, health and other issues. I also have books on my site that you can read to know more

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