Vatican Grants Sainthood to Formerly Jewish Nun (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: Pope John Paul II declares Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, better known as Edith Stein, a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Stein, a former Jew, became a nun in the 1930’s and was killed in the Nazi gas chambers at Auschwitz during World War II.
Edith Stein was born in Breslau, Germany (in present-day Poland), to a devout Orthodox Jewish family. Despite her orthodox upbringing, Stein became an avowed atheist during her youth. She attended the University of Breslau and later the University of Goettingen, where she studied philosophy until World War I broke out, then she volunteered to help the Red Cross. At the war’s end, she returned to her studies, earning her doctorate in philosophy from Freiburg University.
After the war, the conversion of a Jewish friend to Christianity inspired Stein to consider the possibility of conversion for herself. Through later readings, particularly the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Avila, a sixteenth century Spanish nun of Jewish ancestry, Stein became interested in Catholicism and, on January 1, 1922, was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. From 1922 to 1932, she taught at a Catholic teacher’s college and later at the German Institute for Scientific Pedagogy.
Stein’s growing faith led her, in 1933, to enter a Carmelite convent in Cologne, Germany. She remained there until 1938, when superiors of her order...
(The entire section is 908 words.)
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