Noodle Kugel and Saint Edith Stein

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Of all the Saints that I have featured on my blog, by far this is the one that most resonates with me. Edith Stein or Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross has to be my favorite. She was born in Poland to a very large Jewish family. She was a very good student and was well versed in Philosophy and Phenomenology.

Wanting to help after WWI she began training as a nursing assistant and even worked in a hospital. After completing her doctoral thesis from the University of Gottingen. She obtained a teaching position at the University of Freiburg in 1918. It was short lived though. She was forced to quit her teaching position. She eventually became interested in the Catholic Church and in 1922 was baptized at the Cathedral Church in Cologne Germany. She soon became a lecturer at the Catholic Church affiliated institution in Munster. She was forced to resign her post due to antisemitic legislation passed by the Nazi’s.

She entered the Discalced Carmelite Monastery in 1933 and was given the religious name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Because of the ramifications of being born a Jew in Germany, it was believed by her Order that she and her sister also a nun would be much safer in Holland.

 

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Their safety was short lived. Once Holland was taken over by the Nazi’s it became even more unsafe. The Dutch Bishops Conference had a public statement read in all Catholic Churches condemning Nazi racism on July 20, 1942. In a retalatory response the Nazi’s ordered the arrest of all Jews that converted to Catholicism.  On August 7, 1942 she and her sister were arrested and deported to Auschwitz . It is believed on August 9th, St Teresa Benedicta, her sister and countless other Jews were murdered in the gas chambers in Auschwitz. She was fifty one years old.

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She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1998.