9th August – St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

edith steinToday’s saint was nominated by Pope John Paul II as one of the patron saints of Europe. A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was 14, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey that led to her baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she imitated Teresa by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa, also a Catholic, died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.

Pope John Paul II beatified Teresa Benedicta in 1987 and canonized her in 1998.

Here are some quotes of St Teresa Benedicta.

  • And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him.
  • The world doesn’t need what women have, it needs what women are.
  • When you seek truth, you seek God whether you know it or not.
  • The woman’s soul is fashioned as a shelter in which other souls may unfold.
  • Do not accept anything as love which lacks truth.
  • The deeper one is drawn into God, the more one must ‘go out of oneself’; that is, one must go to the world in order to carry the divine life into it.
  • Usually one gets a heavier cross when one attempts to get rid of an old one.
  • The motive, principle, and end of the religious life is to make an absolute gift of self to God in a self-forgetting love, to end one’s own life in order to make room for God’s life.