Published December 24, 2009
Feast – January 4
Raised Episcopalian in New York City, Elizabeth married William Magee Seton, a merchant. The couple had five children. William died in 1803 in Italy, where Elizabeth learned about Catholicism from the family who gave her hospitality. After becoming a Catholic in New York in 1805, the now poor Elizabeth was abandoned by old friends, but accepted the offer of a Baltimore priest to open a school for girls there. In 1809 she founded the U.S. Sisters of Charity, whose schools and orphanages grew in number. She became the first native-born U.S. saint in 1975.