Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was raised Episcopalian, married and had five children. At the age of 30, she was widowed and converted to Catholicism. In 1812 she founded Sisters of Charity, the first congregation for religious women in the United States, whose devotion was education of the poor and teaching in parochial schools. She was credited with opening the first American parish school and the first American Catholic orphanage.
She was the first native born citizen of the United States to be honored with canonization. In the homily at the canonization of Elizabeth Ann Seton, Holy Father Paul VI said “as the Church renders the greatest honor possible to Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton and extols her personal and extraordinary contribution as a woman – a wife, a mother, a widow, and a religious. “
Born: August 28, 1774 in New York City
Died: January 4, 1821 in Emmitsburg, Maryland
Canonized: September 14, 1975
Feast Day: January 4