Wednesday, 9 August 2017

# Saints

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Edith Stein in 1938 or 1939


The 9th of August is the feast day of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross also known as Edith Stein. She is the patron saint of Europe; loss of parents; converted Jews; martyrs; and World Youth Day.

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross lived between 1891 to 1942 and was born in Prussia, the youngest of eleven children of Jewish parents. She was an atheist and gained a doctorate in philosophy. However, she was greatly affected by several friends who were Catholic. One day at her friend's home, she read the book on the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Avila. After finishing the book she exclaimed that "This is the Truth." She was baptised in Cologne, Germany in 1922. She taught at a Dominican school and studied Saint Thomas Aquinas as well as other Catholic philosophers. She wrote a letter to Pope Pius XI asking him to denounce the Nazis when anti-Semitism rose and she had to leave her teaching post. She became a Carmelite nun in Cologne in 1934 and took the name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Her convent moved to Netherlands in order to escape the Nazi threat that was growing in Germany. She then desired to offer her life for the salvation of souls and when the Nazis came, she and another sister, Rose, who was also a convert, was sent to the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. Both sisters were killed in the gas chamber.

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