Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Patron Saint of Catholic Schools and Loss of Parents

St Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley-Seton (1774-1821)

(Franciscan Media) Mother Superior Seton, is one of the keystones of the American Catholic Church, she founded the first American religious community for Women the Sister’s of Charity, she opened the first parish school and established the first American Catholic orphanage–all this she did in the span of 46 yrs while raising five children.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley-Seton is a true daughter of the American Revolution, born on the 28 August, 1774 two years before the ‘Declaration of Independence’ by birth and marriage, she was linked to the first families of New York and enjoyed the fruits of high society.

Reared a staunch Episcopalian by her mother and stepmother, she learned the value of payer, Scripture and a nightly examination of her conscience. Elizabeth’s father, Dr. Richard Bayley, did not have much use of Churches but was a good humanitarian, teaching his daughter to love and serve others.

The early deaths of Elizabeth’s mother in 1777 and her baby sister in 1778 have her a feel for eternity and the temporariness of the pilgrim life on earth. Far frpm being brooding and sullen, she faced each new ‘holocaust’ as she put it, with hopeful cheerfulness.

At the age of 19, Elizabeth was the belle of New York and married a handsome, wealthy businessman, William Magee Seton, they had five children before his business failed and he died of tuberculosis, by the age of 30, Elizabeth was widowed, penniless with five small children to support.

While in Italy with her dying husband, Elizabeth witnessed Catholicity in action through family and friends. Three basic points led to her becoming Catholic: Belief in the real presence, devotion to the Blessed Mother and the conviction that the Catholic Church led back to to the Apostles and Jesus Christ. Many of her family and friends rejected her when she later became Catholic in March, 1805

To support her children, she opened a school in Baltimore and from the beginning, her group followed the lines of a religious community which was officially founded in 1809

More here from EWTN

Related: Prayer by Elizabeth Ann Seton –Leonie’s Longing

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.