Sketch for Mother Seton medal
designed by Dieges and Clust
paint and pencil on paper
14 1/2″ x 11 1/2″
Monsignor Noe Field Archives & Special Collections Center
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774 – 1821) was born in what would later become the United States and was canonized on September 14, 1975, making her the first American born saint. After the death of her husband while traveling abroad in 1803, she converted to Catholicism and was received into the Catholic Church in March of 1805 at Saint Peter’s Church in New York. Mother Seton established the first Catholic girls’ school in the United States, and later founded the first American congregation of religious sisters, the Sisters of Charity. Her profound impact is still evidenced today by the number of institutions inspired by her work throughout the nation, especially in Maryland and New York City where she had resided. Pope John XXIII noted at her beatification in 1963, “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.” That tree still thrives in the continuation of her charitable work in the service of others, especially women and children.