Born in 1774, Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first American to be canonized a saint. She was a wife and mother of five. After the death of her husband, who was a successful and wealthy businessman, Elizabeth converted to Catholicism. Even though she was ostracized by high society for her faith, she founded a school for girls so that she could support her children. Mother Seton later founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph, the first congregation of religious sisters to be founded in the United States. Its school was the first free Catholic school in America. She is the patron saint of severely ill children, widows, and Catholic schools. Many American Catholic schools and institutions are named for her, and on the doors to St. Patrick’s Cathedral she is called a “Daughter of New York.”
Questions for Reflection:
- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton desired to follow the will of God throughout all the changing circumstances in her life, in her varied roles as a wife, mother, teacher, and founder of a religious order. What different roles do you play in your life? How might you follow God through each of those roles?
- Looking back at your life so far, how has God called you and used your gifts in different ways at different stages of your life?