Distinguished Women of Past and Present

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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

1774-1821
From: United States: Maryland, New York
Fields: Activism and Social Service, Education, Philanthropy, Religion
 
Seton, Saint Elizabeth Ann (1774-1821), educator and philanthropist. With her canonization in 1975 she became the first American-born saint of the Roman Catholic church. Born Elizabeth Ann Bayley on August 28, 1774, in New York City, in 1794 she married William Seton, a successful merchant, and they had five children. She accompanied her husband to Italy in 1803, following a reversal in their fortunes; some months after his death in Pisa she returned to New York City and, in 1805, became a Roman Catholic. In 1809 she established in Emmitsburg, Maryland, the first house of what later grew into a widespread religious community known as the Sisters of Charity, with a rule, or constitution, modeled upon that of the Daughters of Charity of the French priest St. Vincent de Paul. Elected the first superior of the order, she held that office until her death. Parochial education in the U.S. began with her establishment of a Catholic school in Emmitsburg, and she was noted for her ministrations to the poor and sick.

"Seton, Saint Elizabeth Ann" Microsoft® Encarta.
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