Lifelong CatechesisForming Catholic identity across generations
For a large part of the liturgical year, we devote ourselves to listening to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects unfolded as we seek God's truth and understanding.
Teresa Benedicta of the Holy Cross, Virgin and Martyr
Born Edith Stein into a Jewish family, she was the youngest of eleven children. Losing her father when she was two years old, Edith developed a strong love for her mother. Her mother kept the family together, with seven surviving children, while continuing to run the family business. Though she admired her mother’s strong faith, by the time she was a teenager Edith was an avowed atheist. She became a teacher, and eventually formed an interest in Catholicism. In 1921, Edith picked up the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Ávila from a friend’s library and read it in one sitting. When she set the book down, she declared, “This is truth!” She was baptized on January 1, 1922. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Edith was dismissed from her teaching position because of her Jewish background. At this time, she did enter the Carmelite convent at Cologne, taking the name, Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was eventually taken prisoner by the Nazis and killed. Teresa did not choose martyrdom, but when it was thrust upon her, she did not shrink from it. Her faith in God gave her the strength that she needed.