St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
Edith Stein (1891-1942) was a philosopher and a German Jewish convert to Catholicism. As a young academic she was a pioneer of education for women and their full participation in intellectual life. Her philosophical studies took her into a deeper search for meaning, resulting in her encounter with Christ. When lent a copy of the Life of St Teresa, Edith read it in a night and concluded: this is the truth.
Facing strong opposition from her Jewish family, Edith was received into the Catholic Church and continued to seek her calling. This search led her to Carmel, where she took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. For her, the Cross was a means of entering deeply into the mystery of suffering, on behalf of and with her people. She was arrested in August 1942 and was ultimately killed at Auschwitz. She is commemorated as a martyr.