Warm Southern Breeze

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A Martyr Of Two Faiths

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Edith Stein

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein, 1891-1942) was was born into a Jewish family in Breslau, Germany, and became a philosopher, phenomenologist, teacher, feminist, and translator. She was a brilliant woman who earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Göttingen in 1916, and obtained an assistantship at the University of Freiburg. She was raised as an observant Jew, became atheist in her teens, but during her student years read Saint Teresa of Ávila’s autobiography, and as a result, decided to become Catholic, was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church in 1922, and joined the Discalced Carmelite order in 1933.

Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein, 1891-1942)

Edith Stein


After the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, she was forced to resign from her teaching post because of Nazi law. And though the Carmelites tried to protect her, she and her sister Rosa were arrested by the Nazis in Echt in 1942 because of her Jewish heritage, and murdered in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Edith Stein was canonized in 1998, and is one of six patron saints of Europe. In contemplating the possibility she would be “driven out into the street,” she wrote, “Certainly we ought to pray that we shall be spared the experience, but only with the deeply sincere addition, ‘Not mine, but thy will be done.’ ”

Rosa Stein and Edith Stein (RIGHT, in nun’s habit) in Echt, 1939.

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