The Woman Elizabeth Ann Seton: 1804–1812


Mary Donovan examines Elizabeth Seton’s experience as a widow and as a mother of a teen daughter and explores the impact of two of Elizabeth’s closest relationships. In these years, the most important relationships in Elizabeth’s life were with her husband’s friend Antonio Filicchi, who played a great role in her conversion, and her daughter Anna. After her husband’s death, Elizabeth had to construct a new identity for herself, and the process is best documented in her correspondence with Filicchi. The two struggled with affection for each other, but ultimately she looked on him as a spiritual friend and he acted as her benefactor. Elizabeth found it difficult to believe she could love her children deeply without losing God’s love but eventually reconciled the two. With time, she learned to put Anna’s needs ahead of her own and respected Anna’s initial reluctance to join the Sisters of Charity. Anna’s death led Elizabeth to greater trust in God.

“The Woman Elizabeth Ann Seton: 1804-1812” is an article in the Vincentian Heritage Journal, Volume 14, Issue 2, Article 4 available at: