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Edith Stein and Companions - On the Way to Auschwitz

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Edith Stein and Companions

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Available April, 2010

On the same summer day in 1942, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) and hundreds of other Catholic Jews were arrested in Holland by the occupying Nazis. One hundred thirteen of those taken into custody, several of them priests and nuns, perished at Auschwitz and other concentration camps. They were murdered in retaliation for the anti-Nazi pastoral letter written by the Dutch Catholic bishops.

While Saint Teresa Benedicta is the most famous member of this group, having been canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1998, all of them deserve the title of martyr, for they were killed not only because they were Jews but also because of the faith of the Church, which had compelled the Dutch bishops to protest the Nazi regime. Through extensive research in both original and secondary sources, P.W.F.M. Hamans has compiled these martyrs’ biographies, several of them detailed and accompanied by photographs. Included in this volume are some remarkable conversion stories, including that of Edith Stein, the German philosopher who had entered the Church in 1922 and later became a Carmelite nun, taking the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

Several of the witnesses chronicled here had already suffered for their faith in Christ before falling victim to Hitler’s “Final Solution”, enduring both rejection by their own people, including family members, and persecution by the so-called Christian society in which they lived. Among these were those who, also like Sister Teresa Benedicta, perceived the cross they were being asked to bear and accepted it willingly for the salvation of the world. Illustrated

"Father Hamans has put us in his debt for having taken on the enormous task of making the Jewish Catholic martyrs flesh and blood persons."
—Ralph McInerny, from the Foreword

"An important, beautiful, heart-wrenching book. These Jewish Catholics, were doubly blessed, for they were martyred twice – once, when they entered the Catholic Church at the cost of losing their families, their homes, their livelihoods, and a second time when they were sent to the extermination camp as Jewish Catholics. Martyred for their Catholic faith, martyred for their Jewish blood. The faith, dedication to God, and love of the Church that they showed as they underwent this double martyrdom are inspiring reminders of what the true stakes and rewards of our lives as Catholics are."
—Roy Schoeman, Author, Salvation is From the Jews

Fr. Paul Hamans is a diocesan priest in Roermond, Netherlands, where he teaches Church history at the seminary there. He has a doctorate in history from the University of Augsburg, Germany, and is an expert on the Dutch martyrs of the twentieth century. His other publications include History of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands.


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9781586173364
320
More Ignatius Press Gifts (About Ignatius Press)
2010

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St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/09


Patron Of: Martyrs, Europe, Against Death of Parents

Also known as

    * Edith Stein
    * Teresia Benedicta

Memorial

    * 9 August

Profile

    Youngest of seven children in a Jewish family. Edith lost interest and faith in Judaism by age 13. Brilliant student and philospher with an interest in phenomenology. Studied at the University of Göttingen, Germany and in Breisgau, Germany. Earned her doctorate in philosophy in 1916 at age 25. Witnessing the strength of faith of Catholic friends led her to an interest in Catholicism, which led to studying a catechism on her own, which led to “reading herself into” the Faith. Converted to Catholicism in Cologne, Germany; baptized in Saint Martin’s church, Bad Bergzabern, Germany on 1 January 1922.

    Carmelite nun in 1934, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Teacher in the Dominican school in Speyer, Germany and lecturer at the Educational Institute in Munich, Germany. However, anti-Jewish pressure from the Nazis forced her to resign both positions. Profound spiritual writer.

    Both Jewish and Catholic, she was smuggled out of Germany, and assigned to Echt, Netherlands in 1938. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, she and her sister Rose, also a convert to Catholicism, were captured and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz where they died in the ovens like so many others.

Born

    * 12 October 1891 at Breslaw, Dolnoslaskie, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) as Edith Stein

Died

    * gassed on 9 August 1942 in the ovens of Oswiecim (a.k.a. Auschwitz), Malopolskie (Poland)

Venerated

    * 26 January 1987 by Pope John Paul II

Beatified

    * 1 May 1987 by Pope John Paul II in the cathedral at Cologne, Germany

Canonized

    * 11 October 1998 by Pope John Paul II

Patronage

    * against the death of parents
    * Europe
    * martyrs

Representation

    * Star of David
 



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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