Tag Archives: Edith Stein

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.jpg

God of our Fathers, who brought the Martyr Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross to know Your crucified Son and to imitate him even until death, grant, through her intercession, that the whole human race may acknowledge Christ as its Savior and through him come to behold You for eternity. 

 

“God Himself teaches us to go forward with our hand in His by means of the Church’s liturgy.”

 

The 2010 blog post is here.

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

St Edith Stein in lay clothes.jpg

The youngest child of 11 of a pious Jewish family, Edith Stein was born 1891 in was a one time Germany and what is now Wroclaw, Poland). Early in life she knew what it meant to face adversity with the death of her father and four of her siblings. By the time she was a teen Edith was not practicing her faith.
Through her study of philosophy, particularly Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology which introduced her to the notion of transcendence which then led her to experience the reality of a transcendent God revealed in Jesus Christ. Philosophy was the condition of Edith’s conversion to Christianity. In 1921 Edith read the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Jesus (Avila) and the catechism; in January 1922 she was baptized.
At 42, Edith Stein entered the Cologne Carmelite monastery after attending the Holy Week Services. The priest who celebrated the Holy Thursday Mass was reason for her following her heart’s desire. She wrote: “I told our Lord that I knew it was His cross that was now being placed upon the Jewish people; that most of them did not understand this, but that those who did would have to take it up willingly in the name of all. I would do that. At the end of the service, I was certain that I had been heard. But what this carrying of the cross was to consist in, that I did not yet know.” In the convent she was devoted to the Carmelite way of life and she was allowed to continue her writing. Her last work was The Science of the Cross. With the Cross in mind, at the age of 50 was killed at Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. It was reported that Edith’s interior strength allowed her to be completely centered and focussed on Christ offering her sufferings and those of others to the Crucified Christ.
Pope John Paul II beatified Sister Teresa Benedicta on May 1, 1987 and canonized her on October 11, 1998. At that time, John Paul said, “Learn from St Teresa to depend on God alone and serve Him with a wholly pure and detached heart. Then, like her, you will be able to say, ‘I do not regret that I have given myself up to love.'”

The liturgical prayer and some links for Saint Teresa Benedict is here…and a good biography is noted here.

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

St Edith Stein.jpg

 

God our Father, You give us joy each year in honoring the memory of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. May her prayers be a source of help for us, and may her example of courage and chastity be our inspiration.

You can read any of the following for an understanding of this pivotal, 21st century saint:
from volume IV of the collected works
Brief biographies found here (from the Vatican) and here.
books by the saint

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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