Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seeton

Also known as
Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton; Mother Seton

Memorial
4 January

Profile
Born into a wealthy and influential Episcopalian family, the daughter of a Dr Richard Bayley, Elizabeth was raised in the New York high society of the late 18th century. Her mother died when Elizabeth was three years old, her baby sister a year later. She married the wealthy businessman William Magee Seton in 1794 at age 19, and was the mother of five.

About ten years into the marriage, William's business failed, and soon after he died of tuberculosis, leaving Elizabeth animpoverished widow with five small children. For years Elizabeth had felt drawn to Catholicism, believing in the Real Presence in the Eucharist and in the lineage of the Church going back to Christ and the Apostles. She converted toCatholicism, entering the Church on 14 March 1805, alienating many of her strict Episcopalian family in the process.

To support her family, and insure the proper education of her children, she opened a school in Boston. Though a private and secular institution, from the beginning she ran it along the lines of a religious community. At the invitation of the archbishop, she established a Catholic girl's school in Baltimore, Maryland which initiated the parochial school system in America. To run the system she founded the Sisters of Charity in 1809, the first native American religious community for women.

Born
28 August 1774 in New York City, New York, USA as Elizabeth Ann Bayley

Died
4 January 1821 in Emmitsburg, Maryland of natural causes

Name Meaning
worshipper of God - (Elizabeth)

Venerated
18 December 1959 by Pope John XXIII

Beatified
17 March 1963 by Pope John XXIII

Canonized
14 September 1975 by Pope Paul VI

Patronage
Apostleship of the Sea (two of her sons worked on the sea); death of children; in-law problems; loss of parents; opposition of Church authorities;people ridiculed for their piety; diocese of Shreveport, Louisiana; widows

Prayers
Prayer I by...
Prayer II by...

Additional Information
Catholic Encyclopedia
Google Directory
National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
Columbia Encyclopedia
Catholic Online
Catholic Information Network
Domestic Church, by Catherine Fournier
One Year Book of Saints, by Father Clifford Stevens
National Women's Hall of Fame
Lives of the Saints, by Professor Edmund LoPresti
For All The Saints, by Katherine Rabenstein
Saint Elizabeth Seton Catholic Community, Lafayette, Louisiana, by Rosalind Foley
Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society
New Catholic Dictionary

Print References
Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints

Translate
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Readings
We must pray without ceasing, in every occurrence and employment of our lives - that prayer which is rather a habit of lifting up the heart to God as in a constant communication with Him.

- Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills it; and thirdly to do it because it is his will.

- Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
What was the first rule of our dear Savior's life? You know if was to do his Father's will. Well, then, the first purpose of our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills; and thirdly, to do it because it is his will.

We know certainly that our God calls us to a holy life. We know that he gives us every grace, every abundant grace; and though we are so weak of ourselves, this grace is able to carry us through every obstacle and difficulty.

- from the writings of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

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