St Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was born in New York to a wealthy Episcopalian family. Her mother died when she was three years old, and although her step-mother took Elizabeth with her when she helped the poor and newly arrived immigrants to New York, did not fully accept her.
Elizabeth married aged 19 and had five children. The family fortunes waned, and her husband needed to convalesce in Italy as his tuberculosis had worsened. He died in Italy and this is where Elizabeth was introduced to Catholicism.
On returning to New York, she was received into the Catholic Church on March 14, 1805. She founded the first Catholic Schools in the United States and established the first Catholic girls’ school. She also founded the first American congregation of religious sisters, the Sisters of Charity of St Joseph who run orphanages and schools. In 1850 the congregation merged with the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in France. She died on 4 January 1821 aged 46.
She was canonised on 14 September 1975 by Pope Paul VI making her the first canonised saint born in the United States.
Pray St Elizabeth Seton
St Elizabeth Seton,
help us to value our schools,
teachers and places of education
so like you we can promote the joy
of learning and betterment.
Help us to analyse our own learning
and make good choices
so that we can lead others
to learning by example.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.
St Elizabeth Seton. Pray for us.