Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church. In 1794, Elizabeth married the wealthy young William Seton, with whom she was deeply in love. William died of tuberculosis while in Italy. While in Italy, Seton learned about Roman Catholicism for the first time. She was especially drawn to the doctrine of the Eucharist as the real body of Christ. When Elizabeth returned to the United States, she established the first free Catholic school in America with two younger women. When the young community adopted their rule, they made provisions for Elizabeth to continue raising her children. Mother Seton became afflicted with tuberculosis, she continued to guide her children. The Rule of the Sisterhood was formally ratified in 1812. 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 can trace their origins to Mother Seton's initial foundation."
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
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