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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Mary Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church.

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Presentation on theme: "St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Mary Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church."— Presentation transcript:

1 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Mary Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church.

2 Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton  a New York socialite,  a devoted wife,  dedicated volunteer in charitable organizations,  mother of five children,  convert to Roman Catholicism,  educator, social minister and catechist,  spiritual leader and formatter,  and a tireless servant of God

3 Birth of Elizabeth  August 28, 1774  Born two years before the American Revolution, Elizabeth grew up in the "cream" of New York society. She was a prolific reader, and read everything from the Bible to contemporary novels

4 Bayley Family  Of British and French ancestry, Elizabeth was born into a prominent Anglican family in New York.  She was the second daughter of Dr. Richard Bayley ( ) and Catherine Charlton (d.1777).  The couple's first child, Mary Magdalene Bayley ( ), married (1790) Dr. Wright Post ( ) of New York.

5 Death of mother 1777  Catherine Bayley ( ), the youngest child, died the year after the untimely death of her mother, Catherine Charlton Bayley, which was probably a result of childbirth.

6 Childhood  In spite of her high society background, Elizabeth's early life was quiet, simple, and often lonely. As she grew a little older, the Bible was to become her continual instruction, support and comfort; she would continue to love the Scriptures for the rest of her life.

7 Father Remarries  After the death of his first wife, Dr. Bayley married (1778) Charlotte Amelia Barclay (c ), of the Jacobus James Roosevelt lineage of New York.  The marriage ended in separation as a result of marital conflict. The couple had seven children, three daughters and four sons.

8 Life in New York  Elizabeth and her sister were rejected by their stepmother. On account of her father's travel abroad for medical studies, the girls lived temporarily in New Rochelle, New York, with their paternal uncle, William Bayley ( ), and his wife, Sarah Pell Bayley.

9 Adolescence  Elizabeth had a natural bent toward contemplation; she loved nature, poetry, and music, especially the piano. She was given to introspection and frequently made entries in her journal expressing her sentiments, religious aspirations, and favorite passages from her reading.

10 Marriage – January 25,1794  On January 25, 1794, Elizabeth, age 19, wed William Magee Seton, age 26, in the Manhattan home of her sister Mary Bayley Post.  Samuel Provoost ( ), the first Episcopal bishop of New York, witnessed the wedding vows of the couple

11 Married  In 1794, Elizabeth married the wealthy young William Seton, with whom she was deeply in love. The first years of their marriage were happy and prosperous. Elizabeth wrote in her diary at first autumn, "My own home at twenty-the world-that and heaven too-quite impossible."

12 Socially Prominent  Socially prominent in New York, the Setons belonged to the fashionable Trinity Episcopal Church.  Elizabeth was a devout communicant there under the influence of Rev. John Henry Hobart ( , later bishop), who was her spiritual director.

13 Children  Happily married, Elizabeth and William Magee Seton had five children: Anna Maria ( ), William ( ), Richard Bayley ( ), Catherine Charlton ( ), and Rebecca Mary ( ).

14 Anna Maria  Anna Maria, who had accompanied her parents to Italy in 1803, became afflicted with tuberculosis as an adolescent and made her vows as a Sister of Charity on her deathbed.  She was 17 years of age when she died.

15 William  William received a commission as lieutenant in the United States Navy in February 1826 and married (1832) Emily Prime ( ). Seven of their nine children lived to adulthood, including Archbishop Robert Seton ( ) and Helen ( ), another New York Sister of Mercy (Sister Mary Catherine, ).

16 Richard  After joining the United States Navy (1822), Richard died prematurely off the coast of Liberia on board the ship Oswego.  He was 25 years old when he died.

17 Catherine  Catherine Charlton (also called Josephine), was beautiful and witty. She distinguished herself by her linguistic and musical talents, developed at Saint Joseph's Academy, Emmitsburg.  Catherine later lived with her brother William and his family and traveled to Europe with them several times before entering the Sisters of Mercy in New York City (1846). As Mother Mary Catherine, she devoted herself for more than forty years to prison ministry in New York.

18 Rebecca  Rebecca fell on ice sometime before 1812, causing a hip injury which resulted in lameness and early death, also from tuberculosis.  She was 14 years old when she died.  Both Anna Maria and Rebecca are buried in the original cemetery of the Sisters of Charity at Emmitsburg, Maryland.

19 1797 Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children  Elizabeth, along with her sister-in-law Rebecca Mary Seton ( ), her soul- friend and dearest confidant, nursed the sick and dying among family, friends, and needy neighbors. Elizabeth was among the founders and charter members of The Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children (1797) and also served as treasurer of the organization

20 William Seton Company  William Magee, educated in England, along with his father and brother James, was a founding partner in the import-export mercantile firm, the William Seton Company, which became the Seton, Maitland and Company in 1793.

21 Filppo Filicchi  He had visited important counting houses in Europe in 1788 and was also a friend of Filippo Filicchi ( ), a renowned merchant of Livorno, Italy.

22 Devastation  This time of Elizabeth's life was to be a brief moment of earthly happiness before the many deaths and partings she was to suffer. Within four years, Will's father died, leaving the young couple in charge of Will's seven half brothers and sisters, as well as the family's importing business. Now events began to move fast - and with devastating effect.

23 Change of Tide  After the death (1798) of William Seton, Sr., her father-in-law, responsibility was thrust on Elizabeth's husband for both the Seton, Maitland and Company and the welfare of his younger half-siblings.

24 Initial teaching experience  About six months pregnant with her third child at the time, Elizabeth managed the care of both families in the Seton household. There she enjoyed her initial teaching experience with her first pupils, Charlotte ( ), Henrietta (Harriet) ( ), and Cecilia ( ), her youngest sisters-in-law

25 1801 Bankrupt  During their monetary crisis Elizabeth tried to assist her husband at night by doing the account books of his firm, but the Company went bankrupt (1801), and the Setons lost their possessions and the family home at 61 Stone Street in lower Manhattan. William Magee began to show evidence of tuberculosis as their financial problems escalated.

26 Tuberculosis  Both Will's business and his health failed. He was finally forced to file a petition of bankruptcy. In a final attempt to save Will's health, the Setons sailed for Italy, where Will had business friends.

27 Faith-filled Journey Elizabeth, William Magee, and their oldest daughter Anna Maria made a sea voyage (1803) to the warm climate of Italy in a desperate effort to restore her husband's health. Italian authorities at the port of Livorno feared yellow fever then prevalent in New York.

28 Quarantined . As a result the officials quarantined the Setons in a cold, stone lazaretto. The Filicchi family did all they could to advocate for them and to provide some relief during their month of isolation.  Two weeks after his discharge, William Magee died in Pisa, December 27, and was buried in the English cemetery in Livorno, leaving Elizabeth a widow at age twenty-nine with five young children.

29 “The Will”  The many enforced separations from dear ones by death and distance, served to draw Elizabeth's heart to God and eternity. The accepting and embracing of God's will - "The Will," as she called it - would be a keynote in her spiritual life.

30 Catholic Faith  In Italy, Elizabeth captivated everyone by her own kindness, patience, good sense, wit and courtesy. During this time Elizabeth became interested in the Catholic Faith, and over a period of months, her Italian friends guided her in Catholic instructions.

31 Eucharist  Elizabeth came upon the text of the Memorare, and began to inquire about Catholic practices, first from her lack of familiarity with the religion, then her inquisitiveness arose out of sincere interest. She asked about the Sacred Liturgy, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and the Church’s direct unbroken link with Christ and the apostles.

32 Antonio and Amabilia Filicchi  The experiences in Italy of Elizabeth and her daughter (now called Annina) transformed their lives forever. Antonio Filicchi ( ) and his wife, Amabilia Baragazzi Filicchi ( ) provided gracious hospitality to the widow and child until the Setons returned to the United States the next spring.

33 Elizabeth and Antonio  Antonio, who had business interests in America, accompanied the Setons back to America, and instructed Elizabeth about the faith and offered wise counsel during her indecision. Elizabeth felt deeply for Antonio, who provided not only emotional support but also substantial financial resources to her.

34 Filippo and Mary Filicchi  Filippo and his wife, the former Mary Cowper ( ) of Boston, along with Antonio and Amabilia Filicchi, introduced Elizabeth to Roman Catholicism

35 Eucharist  Elizabeth's desire for the Bread of Life was to be a strong force leading her to the Catholic Church.

36 Challenges in America 1804  Although Elizabeth left the United States a firm Protestant, she returned to New York with the heart of a Roman Catholic in June 1804.

37 Opposition  Immediately opposition and insecurity threatened her resolve. Elizabeth's religious inclinations incurred the ire of both family and friends. Their hostility coupled with the death of her beloved Rebecca, her sister-in- law, and most intimate confidant, caused Elizabeth deep anguish.

38 Strained Financial Situation  She was also troubled by her strained financial situation. Her five children were all less than eight years of age. As their sole parent Elizabeth faced many challenges and frequently had to relocate into less expensive housing.

39 1805  Having lost her mother at an early age, Elizabeth felt great comfort in the idea that the Blessed Virgin was truly her mother. She asked the Blessed Virgin to guide her to the True Faith. Elizabeth finally joined the Catholic Church in 1805.

40 Elizabeth’s Conversion  While Elizabeth was discerning God's will for her future, the Virgin Mary became her prism of faith. In her discernment she relied on several advisors among the clergy, especially Rev. John Cheverus ( ), the first bishop of Boston, and his associate Rev. Francis Matignon ( ). After wrestling with doubts and fears in her search for truth, Elizabeth resolved her inner conflict regarding religious conversion and embraced Roman Catholicism.

41 First Communion  Reverend Matthew O'Brien ( ) received Elizabeth's profession of the Catholic faith at Saint Peter's Church, Barclay Street in lower Manhattan, March 14, Elizabeth received her First Communion two weeks later on March 25..

42 Bishop John Carroll  Bishop John Carroll ( , later archbishop), whom she considered her spiritual father, confirmed her the next year on Pentecost Sunday.

43 Confirmation  For her Confirmation name Elizabeth added the name of Mary to her own and thereafter frequently signed herself "MEAS," which was her abbreviation for Mary Elizabeth Ann Seton. Accordingly the three names, Mary, Ann, and Elizabeth, signified the moments of the mysteries of Salvation for her.

44 Catholic  Elizabeth's initial years as a Catholic ( ) in New York were marked by disappointments and failures. Rampant anti- Catholic prejudice prevented her from beginning a school, but she secured a teaching position at the school of a Protestant couple, Mr. & Mrs. Patrick White but they failed financially within a short time.

45 Next Venture  Elizabeth's next venture was a boarding house for boys who attended a school directed by Rev. William Harris of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, but disgruntled parents withdrew their sons.

46 Spiritual Journal 1807  Seton family members also distrusted Elizabeth's influence on younger family. members. Their fears were realized when Cecilia converted to Catholicism (1806), then Harriet also made her profession of faith (1809). During Cecilia's struggles as a new convert, Elizabeth wrote an instructive Spiritual Journal (1807) for her, offering her wise counsel.

47 Divine Plan  Although Elizabeth was frustrated in establishing herself to provide for the welfare of her children, she remained faith-filled. She was convinced that God would show her the way according to the Divine Plan. In considering her future and examining alternatives, Elizabeth remained a mother first and foremost. She regarded her five "darlings" as her primary obligation over every other commitment.

48 Maryland Mission 1806  Maryland Mission Rev. Louis William Dubourg, S.S., ( ), was visiting New York when Elizabeth met him quite providentially about  Dubourg had desired a congregation of religious women to teach girls in Baltimore since 1797.

49 Bishop John Carroll  He, with the concurrence of Bishop John Carroll, invited Elizabeth to Baltimore with the assurance that the French priests belonging to the Society of Saint Sulpice (Sulpicians), who were émigrés in Maryland would assist her in forming a plan of life which would be in the best interests of her children. The Sulpicians wished to form a small school for religious education of children

50 Baltimore, Maryland  At the suggestion of the president of St. Mary's College in Baltimore, Maryland, Elizabeth started a school in that city. She and two other young women, who helped her in her work, began plans for a Sisterhood. They established the first free Catholic school in America. When the young community adopted their rule, they made provisions for Elizabeth to continue raising her children.

51 Maryland, June 1808  After her arrival in Maryland, June 16, 1808, Elizabeth spent one year as a school mistress in Baltimore. The Sulpicians envisioned the development of a sisterhood modeled on the Daughters of Charity of Paris (founded 1633), and they actively recruited candidates for the germinal community.

52 Candidates  Cecilia Maria O'Conway, ( ), of Philadelphia, was the first to arrive, December 7, She was followed in 1809 by Mary Ann Butler ( )of Philadelphia, Susanna Clossey ( ) of New York, Catharine Mullen ( ) of Baltimore, Anna Maria Murphy Burke (c ) of Philadelphia, and Rosetta (Rose) Landry White ( ), a widow of Baltimore.

53 Mother Seton’sVows 1809 . Only Elizabeth pronounced vows of chastity and obedience to John Carroll for one year in the lower chapel at Saint Mary's Seminary, Paca Street, March 25, The Archbishop gave her the title "Mother Seton."

54 Sisters of Charity  On June 16, 1809, the group of sisters appeared for the first time dressed alike in a black dress, cape and bonnet patterned after the widows weeds of women in Italy whom Elizabeth had encountered there.

55 Emmitsburg, Maryland  Samuel Sutherland Cooper, ( ), a wealthy seminarian and convert, purchased 269 acres of land for an establishment for the sisterhood near Emmitsburg in the countryside of Frederick County, Maryland..

56 Educational Program  Cooper wished to establish an institution for female education and character formation rooted in Christian values and the Catholic faith, as well as services to the elderly, job skill development, and a small manufactory, which would be beneficial to people oppressed by poverty. Cooper had Elizabeth in mind to direct the educational program.

57 Stone Farmhouse  Their stone farmhouse (c.1750) was not yet ready for occupancy when Elizabeth and her first group arrived in Emmitsburg, June, 1809.

58 Dubois’ Cabin  Reverend John Dubois, S.S., ( ), founder of Mount Saint Mary's College and Seminary (1808), offered his cabin on Saint Mary's Mountain for the women to use until they would be able to move to their property in the nearby valley some six weeks later.

59 Saint Joseph’s Valley 1809  According to tradition, Elizabeth named the area Saint Joseph's Valley. There the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph's began July 31, 1809 in the Stone House, the former Fleming farmhouse (c.1750).

60 White House 1810  In mid-February, 1810, Elizabeth and her companions moved into Saint Joseph’s House (now The White House.)

61 Saint Joseph’s Free School  Elizabeth opened Saint Joseph's Free School February 22, It educated needy girls of the area and was the first free Catholic school for girls staffed by sisters in the country.

62 Saint Joseph’s Academy  Saint Joseph's Academy began May 14, 1810, with the addition of boarding pupils who paid tuition which enabled the Sisters of Charity to subsidize their charitable mission. Saint Joseph's Academy and Free School formed the cradle of Catholic education in the United States.

63 1812 Daughters of Charity  Although Mother Seton was now afflicted with tuberculosis, she continued to guide her children. The Rule of the Sisterhood was formally ratified in It was based upon the Rule St. Vincent de Paul had written for his Daughters of Charity in France. By 1818, in addition to their first school, the sisters had established two orphanages and another school. Today six groups of sisters trace their origins to Mother Seton's initial foundation.

64 Sorrow  Illness, sorrow, and early death were omnipresent in Elizabeth's life. She buried eighteen sisters at Emmitsburg, in addition to her two daughters Annina and Rebecca, and her sisters-in-law Harriet and Cecilia Seton.

65 Psalm 23  She prayed her way through life’s joys and struggles using sacred scripture. This enabled her to live serenely come what may. Psalm 23, which she learned as a child, remained her favorite treasury of consolation throughout her life of suffering and loss. Elizabeth's pathway to inner peace and sanctity flowed from her way of living the Paschal Mystery in her own life.

66 Reverend Simon Gabriel Brute  The Seton Legacy Reverend Simon Gabriel Bruté, S.S., ( ), of Mount Saint Mary's served as the chaplain to the Sisters of Charity and Elizabeth's spiritual director until her death. He was her principle guide along the path to sanctity. He, along with DuBois, actively acculturated the spirit of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac among the Sisters of Charity. Bruté advised Elizabeth to read and translate the lives of Louise and Vincent and some of their spiritual writings

67 An extraordinary manner  The extraordinary manner in which Elizabeth lived an ordinary life flowed from the centrality of the Word of God and the Eucharist in her life. These strengthened her enabling her to be a loving person toward God, her family, her neighbor, and all of creation.

68 Mercy and Justice  She undertook works of mercy and justice. Not only did she and hers Sisters of Charity care for orphans, widows, and poor families, but they also addressed unmet needs among persons oppressed by multiple forms of poverty. Elizabeth had a special concern for children who lacked educational opportunities, especially for religious instruction in the faith.

69 1821  For the last three years of her life, Elizabeth felt that God was getting ready to call her, and this gave her joy. Mother Seton died in 1821 at the age of 46, only sixteen years after becoming a Catholic.  Her daughter Catherine was at her bedside when she died.

70 Cause for Canonization  The work of education and charity lives on in Elizabeth's spiritual daughters around the world. James Gibbons ( , later cardinal), archbishop of Baltimore, initiated her cause for canonization in Officially introduced at the Vatican in 1940, it made steady progress.

71 Venerable  Blessed John XXIII declared Elizabeth venerable December 18, 1959, and also beatified her March 17, Pope Paul VI canonized Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton September 14 during the Holy Year of 1975 and the International Year of the Woman. The Holy See accepted three miracles through her intercession.

72 Three Miracles  The Holy See accepted three miracles through her intercession. These included the cures of Sister Gertrude Korzendorfer, D.C., ( ), of Saint Louis, of cancer; a young child, Ann Theresa O’Neill, (b.1948), of Baltimore, from acute, lymphatic leukemia; and the miraculous recovery of Carl Kalin, ( ), of New York, from a rare form of encephalitis.

73 Canonized  Blessed John XXIII declared Elizabeth venerable December 18, 1959, and also beatified her March 17, Pope Paul VI canonized Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton September 14 during the Holy Year of 1975 and the International Year of the Woman.

74 Work cited 


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