Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An American Saint

Church on the birthplace of Elizabeth Ann Seton, New York CityThis church in Manhattan, New York City, stands on the birthplace of Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Elizabeth, born in 1774, at the age of nineteen married William Magee Seton, a wealthy merchant in New York City. After William became ill, the doctors advised him to move to a warmer climate, so Elizabeth and their eldest daughter accompanied him to Italy, where he had some trade connections in Livorno.Statue of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Saint Seton church, LivornoBecause of the yellow-fever their ship was quarantined in Livorno and her husband died shortly after. He was then buried in the Old English Cemetery. Elizabeth then spent time with the Filicchi, a wealthy local family of faithful Catholics. Two years later, after returning to the United States, she converted to Roman Catholicism.Plaque dedicated to Elizabeth Ann Seton outside the church of San Jacopo in Acquaviva, Livorno
From New York her birth city
come to the sea and the sun of Italy
looking for relief to the poor health of her husband
the Blessed Elizabeth Ann Seton
between the walls of the nearby old Lazaret of St. Leopoldo
lost in God with serene strength of mind
endured the harsh quarantine
from November to December 1803

A plaque on the church of “San Jacopo in Acquaviva” remember her trials. The statue of the Saint stands in the small garden of the church dedicated to her in Livorno.


See also: S.E.A.S. - Inside S.E.A.S.
External links: Elizabeth Ann Seton (Wikipedia)

18 comments:

White Oleander said...

Thanks for the history lesson :) You're always so well informed!

Hilda said...

Fascinating history lesson. I've heard of Elizabeth Seton, but didn't know about the Livorno connection.

Hello from Quebec! :)

Jacob said...

Who would think. I don't know much about Elizabeth Seton but I would have never connected her with Livorno. Fascinating.

brattcat said...

So interesting, VP. You are an outstanding researcher.

Kate said...

The connection between the two countries is an interesting bit of information. I wonder if her stay with the Italian family after the death of her husband influenced her conversion. Seems like such an amazing coincidence.

Luis Gomez said...

Thank you VP, what a great post.

cieldequimper said...

From the thumbnail, the first photo looked suspiciously like over the big pond.

Lovely story! Lovely post.

Day4plus said...

The Church not to far from where I used to live was named for her. Now I know the history. Thanks, MB

Wolynski said...

We have saints in America? Miracles never cease.

Interesting post.

B SQUARED said...

A very interesting story. Little known in these parts.

joo said...

Really interesting story and lovely photos, as usually!

Lois said...

She is so beautiful! I like the flowers she is holding.

Halcyon said...

This is a neat story! And a good crossover into NYC. :)

Dina said...

Thanks for this saintly story.

Kaori said...

History is quite interesting. Is that also her in the statue above the door of the church?

JM said...

What a story! I'm amazed at that building in Manhattan! Great post.

marshall said...

Storia commovente...e per me strappalacrime. Anche se americana, può essere considerata santa italiana.
La sua permanenza qui da noi, le spianò la strada verso la conversione...e da lì, poi, alla beatitudine, primo passo verso la santità.

tapirgal said...

I don't know much about saints, but for once it looks like the Americans did a better job with the architecture. Nice discovery, though, VP, and nice reporting.