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Arch Bishop Ralph Vendegna S.O.S.M.A.

Saint of the Day

  •   Saint of the Day

    Saint of the Day

    St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

    St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891–1942) was born as Edith Stein in Prussia, the youngest of eleven children from a devout Jewish family. She was a bright and gifted child, and as she matured she became an atheist. She went on to receive a doctorate in philosophy, studying under the famous philosophers Heidegger and Husserl. Despite her atheism, she was affected by several friends who displayed a great passion for the Catholic faith. One day, while staying at a friend's home, she saw the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila. She read it from cover to cover, and after finishing it she exclaimed, "This is the Truth." Edith was baptized in Cologne, Germany in 1922. From there she taught for a time at a Dominican school and studied St. Thomas Aquinas and other Catholic philosophers. When the rise of anti-semitism forced her to resign from a teaching post, she wrote to Pope Pius XI asking him to publicly denounce the Nazis. Discerning a call to the religious life, she became a Carmelite nun in Cologne 1934, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross after her special devotion to the Cross of Christ. When the Nazi threat grew in Germany, her Order transferred her to a convent in the Netherlands for safety. There Edith grew in her desire to offer her life for the salvation of souls. The Nazis eventually came for her, and she, along with her sister Rose, who was also a convert, were sent to the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. They were both killed in the gas chamber. St. Edith Stein is the patroness of martyrs and Europe. Her feast day is August 9th.