St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, January 4
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first American citizen to be canonized in the Roman Catholic Church. Born in New York City in 1774, socialite Elizabeth Bayley grew up Episcopalian. At the age of 19, she married William Seton, Jr. They had five children together. After the untimely death of her husband when she was only 29 years old, Elizabeth met the Catholic faith. Convinced of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, she was received into the Catholic Church in New York City in 1805.
At that time in history, elite New York society was extremely anti-Catholic. As a widow and new Catholic, Elizabeth struggled for many years to provide financially for her young children. In time she moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she founded the first group of women religious in the United States – the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph. Initially dedicated to providing for the care of poor children, the apostolate of Catholic education became a core of the community. This began the great legacy of Catholic education in the US. In addition, her community went on to found hospitals and orphanages.
Wife and mother, religious and foundress, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is an example of a woman who dedicated her life to her children and her faith. She is also an inspiration to women – living out the call to different vocations in her own lifetime.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!
~the above photo is of the Seton Chapel located in the Church of the Holy Rosary in New York City. This chapel is part of the former home that Elizabeth shared with William and family before his untimely death in Italy. Taken September 2020.