St. married William Magee Seton in Mary Bayley

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s feast day is January fourth. Elizabeth was born two years before the American Revolution. Elizabeth was born a Protestant, but converted after a hard time in her life. She started Catholic schools in the United States of America, and also made contributions to female education. Elizabeth is the patron saint of in-law problems, opposition of Church authorities, death of parents, against the death of children, and widows (“St. Elizabeth Ann Seton”). Elizabeth was canonized on September 14, 1975 (“Full Biography” 7). St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was born on August 28, 1774 in New York City. Her parents were Richard Bayley and Catherine Charlton (“Full Biography” 2). She had one sister, Mary (Grunwell 13). Elizabeth was born a Protestant, but converted to Catholicism later in her life (“Full Biography” 4). Elizabeth grew up in New York Society’s upper class, however, she lived a pretty simple and quiet life. She was a lot of the time lonely as a kid. Elizabeth loved reading, and was well-educated. She would read anything she could get her hands on (“St. Elizabeth Ann Seton”)! Elizabeth’s mother died when she was just three years old (“The Life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton”). On January 25, 1794, Elizabeth married William Magee Seton in Mary Bayley Post’s house in Manhattan. Together they had five children: Anna Maria, William, Richard Bayley, Catherine Charlton, and Rebecca Mary. Anna Maria got tuberculosis as a teenager, and lived until age seventeen. Rebecca fell on ice and got a hip injury as a child. She died an early death at age fourteen. Richard died when he was twenty five while serving as a civil servant in the United States Navy. Catherine lived a long life of ninety one years, and was the only Seton who was at Elizabeth’s death. William served in the United States Navy as a lieutenant, had seven children, and lived until age 72 (“Full Biography” 2-3).Shortly after Elizabeth’s marriage, she faced tragedy. Elizabeth’s husband, William, got tuberculosis, so Elizabeth, William, and Anna Maria went to Italy in 1803 to try to get William better. It was much warmer there than in New York. William died on December 27, 1803 in Italy. While in Italy, Elizabeth discovered the Catholic faith. She returned in June, 1804 to New York, loving the Catholic faith. She faced ridicule, and lots of hard thinking, but eventually decided to convert. During this time of thought, she came to trust in Mary and love her (“Full Biography” 3-4). Elizabeth was comforted by the thought that Mary was her true mother, because her mother died when she was a child (“St. Elizabeth Ann Seton”). Elizabeth professed her Catholic faith on March 14, 1805. On March 25, 1805 she celebrated her First Communion. Elizabeth was confirmed on Pentecost Sunday, 1806. Elizabeth had a hard time during the beginning of her Catholic faith. She faced ridicule and disapproval from her family, friends, and many others. She also had trouble providing for her family because of her faith. Elizabeth stuck with her faith through this, and continued to love God no matter what (“Full Biography” 4-5). Elizabeth once said, “Faith lifts the staggering soul on one side, Hope supports it on the other. Experience say it must be, and Love says let it be” (Gallick 12). What Elizabeth is trying to say in this statement is that we should just have faith in God, and love him, and he will make sure everything is okay. This reflects on Elizabeth’s life in that, when she was going through a time of sorrow and death in her life, she turned to God, and he took care of her, and made her who she was. God took her by the hand and led her into the light of his word. He gave her the strength to convert, and not give up even when things got tough.All of Elizabeth’s hard work and determination finally paid off in about 1806, when she was invited to Baltimore by Reverend Louis William Dubourg. He wanted to start a religious community for women that would teach girls in Baltimore, Maryland. On June 16, 1808 she got to Maryland, and taught in Baltimore. The Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s began on July 31, 1809. They were actually founded by the Sulpicians, but Elizabeth was the head and leader. On February 22, 1810, Elizabeth opened up the first free Catholic school for girls, St. Joseph’s Free School. St. Joseph’s Academy was opened on May 14, 1810. These schools were the very beginning of Catholic education in the United States. Elizabeth was the first Mother of the Sisters of Charity, and she was reappointed every year until she died. The Sisters also opened the first Catholic orphanage in the United States (“Full Biography” 5-6).Elizabeth died on January 4, 1821 in Emmitsburg, Maryland (Gallick 12). Elizabeth was announced venerable on December 18, 1959 by Blessed John XXIII, and was beatified by him on March 17, 1963. Elizabeth was canonized on September 14, 1975 by Pope Paul VI. This was also a Holy Year. She had three miracles associated with her: the curing of Sister Gertrude Korzendorfer from cancer; the curing of Ann Theresa O’Neill of acute lymphatic leukemia; and the curing of Carl Kalin of a rare form of encephalitis (“Full Biography” 7). Elizabeth was amazing in so many ways. One is that she was the first American saint. Pope John Paul VI says, “Elizabeth Ann Seton is a saint. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is an American. All of us say this with special joy, and with the intention of honoring the land and the nation from which she sprang forth as the first flower in the calendar of the saints. Elizabeth Ann Seton was wholly American! Rejoice for your glorious daughter. Be proud of her. And know how to preserve her fruitful heritage” (“The Life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton”). What Pope John Paul VI is saying is that Elizabeth was the first American saint, and we all think that she is great, and feel like this honors our country. So in response to this feeling, we should all strive to be like her and others that we look up to. We shouldn’t just be proud of her. We should continue her legacy.I chose St. Elizabeth Ann Seton because Elizabeth is my middle name. I also think that she was a great person, and I think that it’s cool how she was able to find the strength to convert. When Elizabeth was going through a hard time in her life, she found God, instead of doing bad things. She never gave up, and always tried her best. I admire her hard work and perseverance. Elizabeth went through a lot throughout her life. Her mother died when she was only three years old, and she lost many of her family members (“The Life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton”; “Full Biography” 3-4). I’m thankful that I don’t have to deal with nearly as much tragedy as Elizabeth did. I am also grateful that she started Catholic schools, because I love mine so much. She used the gifts that God gave her to help others. She always helped others and loved God no matter what. Elizabeth worked hard to achieve her goals, and get to God. I hope to one day be like her, and have as much strength and faith in God as she did. Elizabeth is the patron saint of in-law problems, opposition of Church authorities, death of parents, against the death of children, and widows (“St. Elizabeth Ann Seton”). St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was born a Protestant two years before the American Revolution. Elizabeth found the strength to convert after a time of tragedy and death in her life. She did many wonderful things in her life, including starting Catholic schools (“St. Elizabeth Ann Seton”). Elizabeth loved God and trusted in him, and led the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s (“Full Biography” 6). I’m thankful that she started Catholic schools and think it’s really cool how she found the strength to convert. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was truly an amazing person, who showed perseverance, hard work, and a love for God in all of her actions.

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