St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

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Memorial: 9 Aug.

Edith Stein was born to a Jewish family at Breslau in Germany on October 12, 1891, the youngest of 11. Through her passionate study of philosophy she searched after the truth and found it in reading the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptized a Catholic and in 1933 she entered the Discalced Carmel of Cologne where she took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was gassed and cremated at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942 during the Nazi persecution and died a martyr for the Christian faith after having offered her holocaust for the people of Israel. A women of singular intelligence and learning, she left behind a body of writing notable for its doctrinal richness and profound spirituality. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II at Cologne on May 1, 1987 and canonizes her on 11 October 1998. Pope John Paul II proclaiming Teresa Benedicta of the Cross as Co-Patroness of Europe.

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