St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church.
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.
She is one of the keystones of the American Catholic Church. She founded the first American religious community for women, the Sisters of Charity. She opened the first American parish school and established the first American Catholic orphanage. All this she did in the span of 46 years while raising her five children.
She was beatified by Pope John XXIII on March 17, 1963. The pope said on the occasion, “In a house that was very small, but with ample space for charity, she sowed a seed in America which by Divine Grace grew into a large tree.”