Saint Edith Stein (Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to the Catholic Faith and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She was martyred in Auschwitz and is one of the patron saints of Europe.
What is Saint Edith Stein known for?
Edith Stein was born on October 12th, 1891 in Breslau, Poland.
She was the youngest child of a large Jewish family, but as she grew older she became an agnostic.
Gifted intellectually, she excelled at school and focused her studies on philosophy, particularly phenomenology (an area that Pope John Paul II was later to delve into as well).
In 1922, after reading St Teresa of Avila’s works, she converted to the Catholic Faith and received the Sacraments.
She wished at that time to become a Discalced Carmelite, but her spiritual director recommended against it.
In 1933, she was granted entrance into the Carmelites in Cologne.
For safety, she was transferred to a Carmel in Holland, but the Nazis captured her there when they invaded and conquered Holland, and they shipped her to Auschwitz, where she was gassed to death in the concentration camp. It was August 9th, 1942.
St Edith Stein was beatified on May 1st, 1987, by Pope John Paul II. St Edith Stein was canonized October 11th, 1998, by Pope John Paul II.