January 4                                                                                    Patroness of:
                                                                                              Death of children, in-law problems,
                                                                                        loss of parents, opposition of Church authorities,
                                                                                           people ridiculed for their piety, widows
St Elizabeth Ann Seton was born in New York City, August 28, 1774, to a wealthy and influential Episcopalian family.  Elizabeth was the daughter of a physician, and raised in the New York high society in the late 18th century. Her mother died when Elizabeth was three years old, her baby sister died a year later.
At nineteen, Elizabeth married William Magee Seton of New York. They had five children. After her husband's death, friends invited her to their home in Italy, where Elizabeth found true Catholic life.
Elizabeth returned to New York in 1804 and entered the Catholic Church on March 14, 1805. She accepted an invitation from Archbishop Carroll to establish a girl's school in Baltimore. Several women joined her in the religious life, and she became known as "Mother Seton." They were known as Sisters of Charity and lived in Emmitsburg. This was the origin of six American communities of Sisters.
A school opened for the children of the parish was the first parochial school in the United States. Elizabeth died on January 4, 1821. In 1963 she became the first American-born citizen to be beatified and on September 14, 1975 she was canonized by Paul VI.
O God, You raised up St. Elizabeth in Your Church so that she might instruct others in the way of salvation. Grant us so to follow Christ after her example that we may reach You in the company of our brothers.

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