Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary (7)

A church that few tourists visit can be found at 7 State Street. Is a little hidden to the left of a house made of bricks of the same colour, the home of St. Elisabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint, who was beatified in 1963 and canonised in 1975. It is the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary or the Chapel of St. Elizabeth Seton.

The building you see here dates back to 1793 and is one of the oldest in all of Manhattan and one of the few old houses that have not been demolished. Its beautiful façade has nice Georgian touches and curved a wooden porch that traces the line of the street. The property had belonged to James Watson, who loved the comings and goings of ships in the harbour, so he commissioned the columns of the façade of the house to be built with masts.

Elisabeth was born in New York in 1774 and she married the Protestant William Seton, a wealthy merchant, at the tender age of 20. She had five children and was widowed in 1803. From then on, she became a Catholic, and although she came from a family of high society, she devoted her life to charity. For example, she was the first to organise private charity events in the city of New York, along with other bourgeois women.

The truth is that Elisabeth devoted her life to others. In 1809 she founded the Sisters of Charity, the first order of nuns in the United States and, although her conversion to Catholicism separated her from the aristocracy from which she came, she carried out with her work. 

If love finding spots with history and stories, go to church and see its altar. It is touching.

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