Saint Teresa with a Bundle of Roses Bernini Statue Dedicated to Saint Teresa of Avila; Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) Virgin and martyr
Wroclaw, Poland, October 12, 1891 - Auschwitz, Poland, August 9, 1942
Edith Stein was born in Breslau, capital of Prussian Silesia, on October 12, 1891, into a Jewish family of German stock. Raised in the values of the Israeli religion, at 14 years old she abandoned the faith of her father’s becoming agnostic. She studies philosophy to Göttingen, becoming disciple of Edmund Husserl, the founder of the phenomenological school. It has fame of brilliant philosopher. In 1921 he converts to Catholicism, receiving Baptism in 1922. It teaches for eight years to Speyer (from 1923 to 1931). In 1932 she is called to teach at the Pedagogical Institute of Münster, in Westphalia, but her activity is suspended after about a year because of racial laws. In 1933, fulfilling a long-cherished desire, she entered as a postulant at the Carmel of Cologne. She took the name of Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. On August 2, 1942, she was taken by the Gestapo and deported to the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where she died in the gas chamber on August 9. In 1987 she was proclaimed Blessed and canonized by John Paul II on October 11, 1998. In 1999 she was declared, along with St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Catherine of Siena, Co-Patroness of Europe.
Patronage: Europe (John Paul II, 1/10/99)
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith) Stein, virgin of the Order of Discalced Carmelites and martyr, who, born and educated in the Jewish religion, after teaching philosophy for some years amid great difficulties, undertook through baptism a new life in Christ, continuing it under the veil of consecrated virgins, until under an impious regime contrary to human and Christian dignity she was thrown into prison far from her homeland and in the Auschwitz extermination camp near Krakow, Poland, was killed in a gas chamber.