Collection: St. Edith Stein

ARTIST: Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS


Dear Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross,
Child of the Day of Atonement –
Yom Kippur,
Daughter of Abraham,
Bride of Christ,
Seeker of truth,
Scholar of the Church,
Handmaid of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,
Servant of the Suffering Servant,
Presence of mercy,
Victim of victimizer,
Embracer of the Cross of Christ-like love,
Martyr of Auschwitz,
Imitator of Jesus, Conqueror of evil,
Friend of God, Edith,
Please pray for me.
Please intercede for this petition of mine.
Saint Edith Stein, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Pray for us.

Her feast day is August 9.

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Edith Stein was born on October 12, 1891 in Breslau (Germany), now Wroclaw, Poland. She died on August 9, 1942 in Auschwitz, Poland.

Born into an Orthodox Jewish family, Edith Stein renounced her faith in 1904 and became an atheist. As a student at the University of Gottingen, she became acquainted with Edmund Husserl and became interested in his philosophy. When Husserl moved to the University of Freiburg, he asked Edith Stein to join him there as his assistant. She received her doctorate in leading philosophers.

At Gottingen she first came into contact with Roman Catholicism. Attracted to this faith, Edith Stein returned on a holiday in 1921 to Breslau, where her profound encounter with the autobiography of the mystic St. Theresa of Avila caused her swift conversion. She was baptized on January 1, 1922, and gave up her assistantship with Husserl to teach at a Dominican girls' school in Speyer (1922 - 1932). While at Speyer she translated St Thomas Aquinas' De veritate (On Truth) and familiarized herself with Roman Catholic philosophy in general. In 1932 she became a lecturer at the Institute for Pedagogy at Munster but, because of anti-semitic legislation passed by the Nazi government, she was forced to resign the post in 1933.

In 1934 she entered the Carmelite convent at Cologne, taking the religious name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. There she completed her metaphysical work “Endliches und ewiges Sein", an attempt to synthesize the diverse philosophies of Aquinas and Husserl.

In 1938, with the Nazi threat growing, she was transferred to the Carmelite convent at Echt in the Netherlands. There she wrote her important treatise “Studie uber Joannes a Cruce: Kruezeswissenschaft".

Removal from Germany, however, proved insufficient to ensure her safety. On July 26, 1942 Adolf Hitler ordered the arrest of all non-Aryan Roman Catholics. With her sister Rosa, also a convert, Edith Stein was seized by the Gestapo and shipped to the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Survivors of the death camp testified that she helped all other sufferers with great compassion. On August 9, 1942 she was sent to the gas chamber, where she died with her sister.


Born: October 12, 1891 at Breslaw, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) as Edith Stein


Died: Gassed on August 9, 1942 in the ovens of Auschwitz


Beatified: May 1, 1987 by Pope John Paul II in the cathedral at Cologne, Germany


Canonized: October 11, 1998 by Pope John Paul II


Also known as: Teresia Benedicta