Born in 1774, Elizabeth Bayley grew up in a well-to-do Protestant family and seemed destined for a tranquil life. At age 19 she married William Seton and together they had five children. Tragedy struck when William died of tuberculosis in 1803. Elizabeth learned that her family fortune was lost as well. She converted to Catholicism at a time when Catholics were the object of persecutions in the United States. Her family was shocked by this decision. Elizabeth met Bishop Carroll of Maryland, and he gave her the inspiration to found the American Sisters of Charity and the first American parochial Catholic school. In time her order of sisters flourished, and they established more schools, orphanages and hospitals across the United States. At her early death (46 years old) Mother Seton's congregation numbered twenty-one communities throughout the country. Illustrated
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Cover art by Chris Pelicano