Carmelite Saints & Blesseds
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
Martyr and Co-Patroness of Europe
August 9: Celebrated as a Feast with Proper Texts.
Edith Stein was born to a Jewish family at Breslau on October 12, 1891. Through her passionate study of philosophy she searched after truth and found it in reading the autobiography of St Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptised a Catholic and in 1933 she entered the 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 woman 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 canonized at Rome twelve years later.
Lord, God of our fathers,
you brought Saint Teresa Benedicta
to the fullness of the science of the cross
at the hour of her martyrdom.
Fill us with that same knowledge;
and, through her intercession,
allow us always to seek after you, the supreme truth,
and to remain faithful until death to the covenant of love
ratified in the blood of your Son
for the salvation of all men and women.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Ester 4:12-16, 23, 25; Gospel - John 4:19-24.
Texts taken from the “Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours,” Institutum Carmelitanum, Rome: 1993.
Image courtesy of the Carmelnet webmaster, U.S.A.
Letter from Pope John Paul II Proclaining Teresa Benedicta of the Cross as Co-Patroness of Europe