Find out more about Sister Benedicta of the Cross.
St Edith Stein was born a Jew in Wroclaw, western Poland in 1891. However, at that time in history it was part of the German Empire and was known as Breslau. She studied Philosophy and became a lecturer in Cologne, Germany. However, with the arrival of Nazism, she had to resign her post, simply because of the fact that she was a Jew. She began to read some of the works of Saint Teresa of Avila and St Thomas Aquinas which was the seed for her conversion. She was baptised Catholic on 1st of January 1922 and she entered the Discalced Carmelites in 1933 taking the religious name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
She was advised to leave the Convent in Cologne due to the ever -growing threats and evils of Nazism and moved to the Echt Convent in the Netherlands. The Nazis invaded and occupied the Netherlands in 1940 and for two years tolerated those Jews that had converted to Catholicism. However, after the Dutch Bishops condemned publicly the evils and racism of Nazism, they started to arrest those who had converted from Judaism. St Edith Stein was arrested by the SS on the 2nd of August 1942 and transported to Auschwitz- Birkenau where she was martyred on the 9th of August 1942. Pope John Paul II canonised her on the 11th of October 1998.
“Whatever did not fit in with my plan did lie within the plan of God. I have an ever deeper and firmer belief that nothing is merely an accident when seen in the light of God, that my whole life down to the smallest details has been marked out for me in the plan of Divine Providence and has a completely coherent meaning in God’s all-seeing eyes. And so, I am beginning to rejoice in the light of glory wherein this meaning will be unveiled to me”