Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton: Compassion and Willingness to Love God

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  • Topic: Elizabeth Ann Seton, Richard Bayley
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  • Published : April 10, 2008
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Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton’s most important element in her life was teaching young girls. The writer will explain to you how and why Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is such a saintly figure not only in their life but in many other peoples lives as well. One will be more able to have a true sense of the many different obstacles that Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton had to overcome to come to the realization that she wanted to devote the rest of her live to God.

The writer will focus on four main areas throughout. First, she will present a brief biography of Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton’s life as well as her many accomplishments. Then, there will be a discussion of her main thrust in her life of ministry, teaching. After that the writer will talk about the way in which the film, A Time for Miracles, portrays Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton as a saintly person and if the film does a good job at portraying her. Finally, the writer is going to take the time to discuss two different themes from Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton’s writings.

A variety of different sources will be used throughout the paper and these sources will help to enhance my knowledge of Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton. The film, A Time for Miracles, which was discussed earlier, will be one of main sources. Another source that will be used heavily is a book of Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton writings, entitled Elizabeth Seton: Selected Writings, along with a number of other sources that have been located to help to develop this research paper.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was born in New York City on August 28, 1774 to Dr. Richard Bayley and Catherin Charlton. Seton’s mother, Catherin Charlton, passed away when she was three years old and her father, Dr. Richard Bayley decided to remarry. Elizabeth’s stepmother was Charlotte Amelia Barclay. Seton mainly was educated by her father and the primary subjects that she studied were French and music. When Elizabeth was just nineteen she married William Magee Seton on January 25, 1794. William was a New York merchant at the time that he married Elizabeth. Elizabeth and William had five children, two boys and three girls, who were all devoted to both of their parents, but especially to their mother. Seton’s husband ended up falling ill and while on trip to Italy, in 1803, with their eldest daughter passed away. While still in Italy, planning on returning home to New York, Elizabeth stayed with the Filicchi family. It is here that Seton found herself wanting to convert to Roman Catholicism. After becoming Roman Catholic, on March 14, 1805, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton traveled to Baltimore because she had accepted a proposal to start a school for girls as well as found a community; this was presented to her by William Valentine DuBourg. The community that Seton ended up founding was called the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph. Elizabeth continued teaching young girls as well as starting many schools throughout the United States. She died on January 4, 1821. “On February 28, 1940, the Roman Congregation of Rites formally introduced her cause for canonization. On December 14, 1961, the validity of two miracles was confirmed, and on March 17, 1963, John XXIII beatified her” (Jones). Pope Paul VI declared her Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton on September 14, 1975.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Main Thrust in Her Life of Ministry: Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s main thrust during her life of ministry is definitely her aspiration to teach young girls, even when times can be tough. She truly had a passion and love for teaching and even if she were not asked to start a school for young girls by William Valentine DuBourg, Seton probably would have gone into teaching anyway after her husband’s death. After she founded the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joseph, Elizabeth as well as her fellow sisters taught a group of young girls in Baltimore, Maryland. However,...
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