Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Sister Elizabeth Ann Seton was born Elizabeth Ann Bayley on August 28th, 1774 in New York City to wealthy parents. Elizabeth suffered many losses early in life starting with the loss of her mother when she was just three years old, and a younger sister two years later. She was raised Episcopalian by her mother and stepmother. Her father was a humanitarin who taught his daughter to love and be of service to others. Elizabeth had a great interest in reading and particularly liked reading the bible and scriptures in which she found great comfort.
In 1794 at the age of 19, Elizabeth married William Seton and together they had five children. Four years into their marriage William’s father died leaving Elizabeth and William in charge of caring for his many brothers and sisters. A few years after that, Elizabeth’s father died. Not long after that, William’s business began to fail along with his health. William and Elizabeth thought that a sea voyage to Italy would help him to feel better. William died while in Italy and Elizabeth became interested in the Catholic faith during that time to which she later converted.
She felt a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin having lost her own mother at such an early age. To support her children Elizabeth opened a school for girls in Baltimore. After joining the Catholic Church in 1805 Elizabeth devoted her life to God’s will for her. In 1809 she took her religious vows and became known as Mother Elizabeth Seton. She formed a community of sisters called the Sisters of Charity which included one of her daughters. Mother Seton died on January 1st, 1821 from tuberculosis the same thing that killed her husband.
She was just 46 years old when she died. Elizabeth is known as the patron saint for the loss of parents. Her feast day is celebrated on January 1st. Mother Seton became the first american saint to be beatified in 1963 and then later canonized in 1975. Mother Seton told her follow sisters, “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. ”
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