Such an amazing story, such an inspiring life!
TODAY’S FEAST DAY: SAINT TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS
(franciscanmedia.org) – A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was 14, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey that led to her baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she imitated Saint Teresa by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
Portrait of Edith Stein in the student chapel of the Hochschulgemeinde Wien im Edith-Stein-Haus | photo by Braveheart –
L’Osservatore Romano –
Born into a prominent Jewish family in Breslau, Germany—now Wroclaw, Poland—Edith abandoned Judaism in her teens. As a student at the University of Göttingen, she became fascinated by phenomenology–an approach to philosophy. Excelling as a protégé of Edmund Husserl, one of the leading phenomenologists, Edith earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1916. She continued as a university teacher until 1922, when she moved to a Dominican school in Speyer; her appointment as lecturer at the Educational Institute of Munich ended under pressure from the Nazis.
After living for four years in the Cologne Carmel, Sister Teresa Benedicta moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands, in 1938. The Nazis occupied that country in 1940. In retaliation for being denounced by the Dutch bishops, the Nazis arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa, also a Catholic, died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.
Pope John Paul II beatified Teresa Benedicta of the Cross in 1987 and canonized her 12 years later.
The writings of Edith Stein fill 17 volumes, many of which have been translated into English. A woman of integrity, she followed the truth wherever it led her. After becoming a Catholic, Edith continued to honor her mother’s Jewish faith. Sister Josephine Koeppel, O.C.D., translator of several of Edith’s books, sums up this saint with the phrase, “Learn to live at God’s hands.”
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross is a Patron Saint of: Converts to Christianity, Europe Click here to listen
CARDINAL CZERNY: EDITH STEIN, A WOMAN OF TRUTH AND LOVE
This August 9th marks the 80th anniversary of the death of Edith Stein, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who was killed at Auschwitz in 1942. In his homily during Holy Mass in the Carmelite Monastery in Auschwitz, Cardinal Michael Czerny SJ, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, reflects on her remarkable story.
In his homily, Cardinal Czerny drew parallels between his own family origins and those of Edith Stein, saying that with this background, he was very honoured and deeply moved to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the saint’s “birth to heaven.”
“With Edith Stein, I share Jewish origins, the Catholic faith, a vocation to religious life, and several coincidences with my maternal grandmother, Anna Hayek née Löw (1893-1945). They were about the same age and came to a similar end,” he said.
The cardinal noted that this anniversary occurs “within this year’s special circumstances that invite and urge us to remember.”
He was referring to the war in Ukraine and “too many cruel wars dragging on in various parts of the world.” CONTINUE: Cardinal Czerny: Edith Stein, a woman of truth and love – Vatican News