St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Elizabeth Ann SetonFeast Day – January 4

Patron Saint of schools, loss of children, loss of parents

Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first American-born saint.  Born in New York City in 1774 into a devout Episcopal family, she was married to William Seton at the age of 19.  They had five children, and Elizabeth became involved in helping the poor of their city by establishing the Protestant Sisters of Charity with her sister-in-law.  The Seton family left New York when her husband’s health and business failed.  They settled in Italy with the hope of saving William’s life.  However, he passed away, leaving her a widow in a foreign country with five children to raise alone.  Her new friends in Italy inspired her to become Catholic and she joined the Church after returning to America.  She established a Catholic school in Baltimore next to St. Mary’s Seminary – the first free Catholic school.  She moved elsewhere and opened more schools before becoming a nun and establishing the Daughters of Charity in the early 1800’s.  She passed away at the young age of 47, succumbing to tuberculosis like her husband and two daughters before her.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is a wonderful example of a mother who tries to do the best for her family and at the same time, help others in need in the community around her. 

Dear Heavenly Father, may we too serve our families in love and compassion.  May we answer God’s call when he gives us opportunities to serve others. 


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