Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)Virgin and Martyr Edith Stein, born in 1891 in Breslau,
Poland, was the youngest child of a large Jewish family. She was an outstanding student and was well versed
in philosophy with a particular interest in phenomenology. Moving to atheistic thought from Judaism,
eventually she became interested in the Catholic Faith, and in 1922, she was baptized at the Cathedral Church
in Cologne, Germany. Eleven years later Edith entered the Cologne Carmel. Because of the ramifications of
politics in Germany, Edith, whose name in religion was Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, was sent to the
Carmel at Echt, Holland. When the Nazis conquered Holland, Teresa was arrested, and, with her sister Rose,
was sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Teresa died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1942 at
the age of fifty-one. In 1987, she was beatified in the large outdoor soccer stadium in Cologne by Pope John
Paul II. Out of the unspeakable human suffering caused by the Nazis in western Europe in the 1930's and
1940's, there blossomed the beautiful life of dedication, consecration, prayer, fasting, and penance of Saint
Teresa. Even though her life was snuffed out by the satanic evil of genocide, her memory stands as a light
undimmed in the midst of evil, darkness, and suffering. She was canonized on October 11, 1998.
Prayer of St. Edith
O my God, fill my soul with holy joy, courage and strength to serve You. Enkindle Your love in me and then walk with me along the next stretch of road before me. I do not see very far ahead, but when I have arrived where the horizon now closes down, a new prospect will open before me and I shall met with peace.
How wondrous are the marvels of your love, We are amazed, we stammer and grow dumb, for word and spirit fail us.