It was exactly three quarters of the way into the 20th century before the United States could claim its first native-born saint: Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton. It was—she was—well worth the wait.
On the eve of the American Revolution the wealthy and distinguished Episcopalian Bayley family from New York welcomed Elizabeth into the world. It was 1774. Elizabeth’s physician-father, William, quickly bonded with the child who shared his hunger for learning and inherited his humanitarian instincts.