Monday, May 19, 2014

The First American-born Saint

The former mansion on the right side is the older Federal style portion

The windows from the inside of Our Lady of the Rosary Church

Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton and friend

The second stop on our Sacred Sites tour was Our Lady of the Rosary Church for the Saint Elizabeth Seton Shrine. This was a confusing place that took some time to figure out because there was no one to talk to at the location.

The oldest part of the building was originally the Watson Mansion completed in 1793. That home was combined with the house next door around 1806. It later became the Mission of Our Lady, an organization that helped single women Irish immigrants as the arrived to New York. In 1912, when the Titanic survivors arrived, the wealthy travelers were taken uptown to The Waldorf Hotel. The steerage survivors were taken to the Mission of Our Lady.

A much more recent chapel was built to honor the first American born Saint, Elizabeth Seton when it was discovered that she had lived in the mansion for a time. She converted to Catholicism as an adult, later taking vows and starting the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph. Mother Seton also started the first Catholic school in the United States.

Morning temperature: 50 degrees
Morning steps: 6085

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