IN TODAY’S LIVES OF THE SAINTS AND MARTYRS, AN ATHEIST JEW TURNED CARMELITE MARTYER

Written by on 08/09/2017

Winchester, VA – Edith Stein was born a German Jew in 1891, and by her teen years had become atheist. While on holiday in 1921, she picked up St. Teresa of Avila’s autobiography and in the course of a night was converted to Catholicism and was baptized in 1922. When Nazi anti-Semitic policies caused her to lose her teaching post at the university, she entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery of St. Maria vom Frieden in Cologne and took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. The monastery, in an effort to protect the sisters from the increasing Nazi threat, moved them to the Netherlands in 1938. After the Dutch episcopacy denounced the Nazis, all the converted Jews were rounded up and executed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz on August 9, 1942. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us!


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