St.Theresa Benedicta Of The Cross (Edith Stein) Virgin & Martyr August 9

St.Theresa Benedicta Of The Cross (Edith Stein) Virgin & Martyr August 9

God of our Fathers, who brought the Martyr Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross to know your crucified Son and to imitate him even until death, grant, through her intercession, that the whole human race may acknowledge Christ as its Savior and through him come to behold you for eternity. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.



Born: October 12, 1891

Religious Order: Discalced Carmelites (OCD)

Died: August 9, 1942

Canonized: October 11, 1998

Patron: Europe; loss of parents; martyrs.

Edith Stein was born of prominent Jewish parents in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), in 1891. A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was fourteen, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey that led to her baptism on 1 January 1922, which was the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus, (according to Jewish custom).

After her conversion to Catholicism she became a major force in German intellectual life, imitating Teresa by entering the Discalced Carmelites in 1933, taking the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

She Became an influential philosopher following her extensive studies at major German universities. As a student at the University of Gottingen, she became fascinated by phenomenology, an approach to philosophy. Excelling as a protege 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 in the Cologne Carmel (1934-1938), she moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands. 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. Sister Benedicta of the Cross was arrested by the Gestapo on 2 August 1942, while she was in the chapel with the other sisters. She was to report within five minutes, together with her sister Rosa, who had also converted and was serving at the Echt Convent. Her last words to be heard in Echt were addressed to Rosa: “Come, we are going for our people.” They alongside other Catholics of Jewish extraction were transported by cattle train to the death camp of Auschwitz. She died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.

Pope John Paul II beatified Teresa Benedicta in 1987 and canonized her in 1998.

~St. Benedicta Of the Cross, Pray For Us!

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