Elizabeth Ann Seton, our patron saint, was born Elizabeth Ann Bayley in 1774 in New York City. Her remarkable life spans the full spectrum of human experience. She was a:
- New York socialite,
- devoted wife,
- mother of five children,
- convert to the Catholic faith, and
- tireless servant of the Lord, with a special devotion to the poor and sick.
Mother Seton was the first native-born American saint of the Roman Catholic Church (canonized on September 14, 1975) and foundress of the Sisters of Charity. Of special importance to us, she founded the first free Catholic school in America in 1808, an academy in Emmitsburg, MD for girls from families who could not afford tuition. That school became the foundation for parochial schooling in the United States—an education system that has been around as long as public government schools and produced better results with fewer resources. In just 45 years, she had accomplished several lifetimes’ worth of good works. The legacy she left now includes six religious communities, hundreds of schools, orphanages, hospitals, day nurseries, and child care centers throughout the United States and the world.
Find out more about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton here.