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Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

Also known as Teresia Benedicta, Edith Stein

Memorial 9 August

Profile Youngest of seven children in a Jewish family. Edith lost interest and faith in Judaism by age 13. Brilliant student and philospher with an interest in phenomenology. Studied at the University of Gottingen and in Breisgau. Earned her doctorate in philosophy in 1916 at age 25. Witnessing the strength of faith of Catholic friends led her to an interest in Catholicism, which led to studying a catechism on her own, which led to "reading herself into" the Faith. Converted to Catholicism in Cologne, Germany; baptized in Saint Martin's church, Bad Bergzabern, on 1 January 1922. Carmelite nun in 1934, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Teacher in the Dominican school in Speyer, and lecturer at the Educational Institute in Munich. However, anti-Jewish pressure from the Nazis forced her to resign both positions. Profound spiritual writer. Both Jewish and Catholic, she was smuggled out of Germany, and assigned to Echt, Holland in 1938. When the Nazis invaded Holland, she and her sister Rose, also a convert to Catholicism, were captured and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz where they died in the ovens like so many others.

Born 12 October 1891 at Breslaw, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) as Edith Stein

Died gassed on 9 August 1942 in the ovens of Auschwitz

Beatified 1 May 1987 by Pope John Paul II in the cathedral at Cologne, Germany

Canonized 11 October 1998 by Pope John Paul II

Patronage Europe, loss of parents ,martyrs

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