Friday, April 27, 2012

Edith's mother was terminally ill and questioning her daughter's "desertion" from Judaism. Edith reflects on this period of her life:

I was never able to make Mother comprehend either my conversion or my entrance into the Order...And so, once more, she is suffering greatly because of our separation, and I am unable to say anything that will comfort her..."no one but the Lord himself knows what is happening in her soul."

Edith's mother died on September 14, 1936. September 14 is the feast of the Trimph of the Cross and the day that Carmelite nuns annually renew their vows. Edith said afterwards, As I was standing in my place in choir waiting to renew my vows my mother was beside me. I felt her presence quite distinctly. This was believable, given the special bond of love between them and Edith's intuitive power which was now developing in a mystical direction.
From Edith Stein, by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (1891-1942)

Edith Stein was born in Breslau, Germany, on October 12, 1891, the youngest of seven children in a prominent Jewish family. Edith abandoned Judaism as early as 1904, becoming a self-proclaimed atheist. Arduously seeking truth, she entered the University of Gottingen. There she earned a doctorate in 1916 and emerged as one of Europe’s brightest philosophers. One of her primary endeavors was to examine phenomenology from the perspective of Thomistic thought, part of her growing interest in the Catholic teachings. Propelled by her reading of the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, she was baptized on January 1, 1922. In 1934, she entered the Carmelite Order. But in 1938 she was moved from her monastery in Germany into another Carmelite monastery in the Netherlands to escaped mounting Nazi oppression. She was arrested in 1942 as part of the order by Hitler to liquidate all non-Aryan Catholics and was taken to Auschwitz, on August 9 or 10, 1942. There she died in the gas chambers. Pope John Paul II canonized her on October 11, 1998.

A Carmelite Monastery had been founded at Auschwitz, but because of the controversy surrounding the  monastery , the nuns relocated by order of Pope John Paul II. 

 Also in Germany, there is a Carmelite monastery on the grounds of the former concentration camp: Dachau
Here is a link with photos:

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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