On this day: Edith Stein

On this day the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a Discalced Carmelite. She and her sister, Rosa Stein, were among those sent to the gas chamber at Auschwitz, on August 9, 1942.

"Edith Stein 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.'"

At the beatification in 1987, Pope John Paul II said, "We bow down before the testimony of the life and death of Edith Stein, an outstanding daughter of Israel and at the same time a daughter of the Carmelite Order, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a personality who united within her rich life a dramatic synthesis of our century. It was the synthesis of a history full of deep wounds that are still hurting ... and also the synthesis of the full truth about man. All this came together in a single heart that remained restless and unfulfilled until it finally found rest in God."

-- Vatican.

At the canonization in 1998, Pope John Paul II quoted the new saint: "St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross says to us all: Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie."

Homily of John Paul II for the Canonization of Edith Stein.

Click here to read the letter Dr. Edith Stein sent Pope Pius XI in 1933.

Click here for books by and about Edith Stein.

Click here for images.

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here