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Edith Stein
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Edith Stein

Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) was born on Yom Kippur in 1891 to a devout Jewish family in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland). Her parents were hard working, industrious and patriotic Germans who ran a lumber business that thrived until her father died suddenly when Edith was two. Her mother, Auguste, then ran the family and the business and still found time to pray and worship in the synagogue with a fervent devotion that amazed her youngest daughter.

Edith was a precocious child who even at an early age exhibited signs of tremendous intelligence and grasp of subjects far beyond her years. Her years in the gymnasium (high school) marked her for great things in university and at Breslau University she delved deeply into philosophical thought of Marx, Darwin and Nietzsche: while still a teen Edith had become an intellectual atheist and casually disregarded the possibility of a God. She was, by her own account, searching only for truth.

Like many of the young philosophy students with whom she befriended at university, Edith was drawn towards the new school of Phenomenology, founded by the towering intellectual Edmund Husserl. Impressed with the depth and breadth of Edith’s mind and writings, Husserl drew Edith deep into his intimate circle of assistants which almost guaranteed her soaring to the heights of German academia.   

The other problem was that many of Husserl’s assistants, including Husserl himself, had been led by Phenomenology into deeper inquiries of faith and ending up accepting Christ and Christianity. Edith, however, resisted and held out, even after successfully defending her doctoral thesis in 1916. 

In 1921 while staying with friends in the country, Edith read the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila in one sitting, finished and announced that she had discovered truth. Truth was not a what but a Who and the Truth she discovered was God. Edith was baptized a Catholic in 1922 and immediately expressed a desire to enter the religious life. Her spiritual father refused, saying that due to the carnage and doubt sowed by the Great War, a strong intellectual Catholic witness was needed in the world. Obediently, Edith continued to teach, write and lecture on Phenomenology but now grounded in her Christian faith. Amazingly, Edith never rejected her Jewishness and her Catholicism of the New Covenant seemed a seamless extension of the Old Covenant with both coexisting in her heart and mind.

After a decade of teaching, lecturing, writing and emerging as Europe’s foremost Catholic advocate for women in contemporary society, Edith was finally granted permission by her confessor to enter the religious life. In 1933, the same year Hitler came to power in Germany, Edith entered the cloister of the Discalced Carmelites in Cologne. After taking her solemn vows she continued to write on philosophical and mystical subjects but by 1935 it was clear she could not stay in Germany due to the harsh anti-Semitic laws. In 1938, the sisters finally succeeded in spiriting Edith, now Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, across the border to the Carmel in Echt, Holland. 

In 1939 World War II began and in 1940 the Netherlands was invaded by the Nazis and the roundups of Jews, including Christian Jews, began. On August 2, 1942 Edith and her sister Rosa (who had likewise converted to Catholicism) were arrested at the Carmel and transported to Auschwitz, where they were gassed and cremated on August 9. Her final words before her arrest were “Come Rosa, we go for our people”. Edith Stein was canonized in 1998 and declared one of Europe’s co-patrons.

The Edith Stein tile was created in 2020. Our 12" X 12" signed and numbered reproduction is created on stretch canvas and is suitable for matting and framing. 

Edith Stein
Edith Stein - $ 150.00 USD

Signed reproduction on 12" x 12" stretched canvas.

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Your complete satisfaction is our goal. If any item does not meet your expectations, send it back to us within 90 days for an exchange or a full refund of the purchase price.

Shipping and Handling

Shipping and handling cost is $10.95 per icon shipped.