St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross – 09 August
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 Göttingen, Germany and in Breisgau, Germany. 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, Germany on 1 January 1922.
Carmelite nun in 1934, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Teacher in the Dominican school in Speyer, Germany and lecturer at the Educational Institute in Munich, Germany. However, anti-Jewishpressure 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, Netherlands in 1938. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, 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.
She was born on 12 October, 1891 at Breslaw, Dolnoslaskie, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) as Edith Stein. She died in the gas chambers on 9 August, 1942 in the ovens of Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Poland.
“Whatever did not fit in with my plan did lie within the plan of God. I have an ever deeper and firmer belief that nothing is merely an accident when seen in the light of God, that my whole life down to the smallest details has been marked out for me in the plan of Divine Providence and has a completely coherent meaning in God’s all-seeing eyes. And so I am beginning to rejoice in the light of glory wherein this meaning will be unveiled to me.” Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
“God is there in these moments of rest and can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of the day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but in peace. And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him. Then you will be able to rest in Him — really rest — and start the next day as a new life.” Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross