Young Elizabeth Ann Bailey married William Seton, an established seafarer merchant in New York City. This marriage surely made her aware of the seafaring industry. Later as her husband became ill with tuberculosis they were invited to join the Fillippi family in Livorno, Italy, to rest in the fresh air at their sea side estate. William died on the ship in quarantine off the coast. The widow Seton and her children left the ship and joined the Fillippi’s at their estate. The Fillippi family were wealthy seafaring merchants and devout Catholics whose charity and piety deeply impressed Elizabeth.
Elizabeth and her children became Catholics and returned to New York by sea. She journeyed to Baltimore, a large port city where she founded the Sisters of Charity and started the first parochial school in the United States. Her two sons, William and Richard, as young men were seafarers for a time. Certainly as their mother, Elizabeth prayed to God for her sons. Now we ask St. Elizabeth Ann Bailey Seton to take as her spiritual children today’s seafarers
Stella Maris International Seafarer’s Center, Baltimore, Maryland, USA