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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton & Family

Elizabeth Ann Seton

Elizabeth Ann (Bayley) Seton (1774-1821) is the patron saint of catholic schools and the first person born in the United States to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Her nephew, Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, founded and named Seton Hall University after his aunt in 1856 as "a home for the mind, the heart, and the spirit."

Mother Seton was born in New York City to Dr. Richard Bayley, physican and surgeon, and Catherine Charlton Bayley, daughter of an Episcocpal minister, who died in 1777 leaving her husband and 3 children behind.

Elizabeth Bayley married William Magee Seton, a wealthy shipping magnate, in 1794 and had 5 children. William Seton died in 1803 leaving his wife and 5 children behind. After his death, Elizabeth Seton converted to Catholicism and became a teacher to raise and educate her children as well as other children. She went on to found her first Catholic school in Baltimore and eventually St. Joseph's Academy, the first Catholic parochial school in the United States. In 1809 Elizabeth Seton pronounced vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In that same year she began the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph at the Stone House in Emmitsburg, Maryland which  is her final resting place after her death in 1821.

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