St. Edith Stein
by Catholic.org | Source: Catholic.org
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
(Edith Stein)Virgin and Martyr Edith Stein, born in 1891 in Breslau, Poland, was the youngest child
of a large Jewish family. She was an outstanding student and was well versed in philosophy with a
particular interest in phenomenology. Eventually she became interested in the Catholic Faith, and in
1922, she was baptized at the Cathedral Church in Cologne, Germany. Eleven years later Edith entered
the Cologne Carmel.
Because of the ramifications of politics in Germany, Edith, whose name
in religion was Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, was sent to the Carmel at Echt, Holland. When the
Nazis conquered Holland, Teresa was arrested, and, with her sister Rose, was sent to the
concentration camp at Auschwitz. Teresa died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1942 at the age of
fifty-one. In 1987, she was beatified in the Cologne cathedral by Pope John Paul II. Out of the
unspeakable human suffering caused by the Nazis in western Europe in the 1930's and 1940's, there
blossomed the beautiful life of dedication, consecration, prayer, fasting, and penance of Saint
Teresa. Even though her life was snuffed out by the satanic evil of genocide, her memory stands as a
light undimmed in the midst of evil, darkness, and suffering. She
was canonized on October 11, 1998.
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