Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, born Elizabeth Ann Bayley in New York City on August 28, 1774, was a daughter of a prominent Episcopal family. She lost her mother at the age of three. At the age of 19, she married William Magee Seton— a wealthy businessman with whom she had five children.
In 1803, Elizabeth became a young widow after William died of tuberculosis. Finding peace in Italy where her husband passed away, Elizabeth sought shelter in Catholicism— a faith that had pushed her to enter the Church upon her return to the United States (US) in 1805. (Read: The Pope’s Prayer for the Immaculate Conception of Mary)
Four years later, in 1809, Elizabeth moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland. There, she founded the first-ever community for religious women in the US, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph. She also became instrumental in planting the seeds of Catholic education in the US, as she founded the St. Joseph’s Academy and Free School where she was often referred to as “Mother Seton.”
With her numerous religious initiatives, Mother Seton was canonized on September 14, 1975, by Pope Paul VI. She was the first citizen born in the United States to be given the title of “Saint.” Her feast day is celebrated annually every 4th of January.
Prayer to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Lord God, You blessed Elizabeth Ann Seton with gifts of grace as wife and mother, educator and foundress, so that she might spend her life in service to Your People. Through her example and prayers, may we learn to express our love for You in love for our
fellow men and women.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer from catholicfaithstore.com.