ST. TERESA BENEDICTA of the CROSS (EDITH STEIN) 1891-1942
I WAS MILDLY SURPRISED TODAY WHEN I CAME ACROSS AN ARTICLE that seemed to connect up with my previous post. When coincidence presents itself, I appreciate how the world seems to flow. It wants me to pay attention. I don't know anything for certain, so I'm always pleased when all I have to do is follow the trail.
My last post discussed the bravery of a woman, an artist, whose great courage saved her from extermination in Auschwitz. This morning I learned about a woman, Edith Stein, who became a Carmelite nun and experienced a different fate entirely.
Edith Stein was born into a prominent Jewish family in Breslau, Germany, (now Wroclau, Poland). She was a brilliant young girl, philosophical in outlook, and abandoned her faith at the age of 14. She became captivated by the autobiography of Teresa of Avila, and began her spiritual journey, which led to her Baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she took the name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, becoming a Carmelite, as her namesake had. Her appointment as lecturer at the Educational Institute of Munich ended under pressure of the Nazis. She lived in Cologne as a Carmelite (1934-1938), then moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands.
The Nazis occupied that country in 1940. Dutch bishops denounced the Nazis, who arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa, also a Catholic, died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.
Pope John Paul II beatified Teresa Benedicta in 1987 and canonized her in 1998. The artist, Dina Babbitt, also a prisoner at Auschwitz, survived after making a deal in her favor with the Nazis. You can read about her exploits in the previous post, "Survivor".
Edith Stein...St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, said," Whatever did not fit in with my plan, did lie within the plan of God.."