Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Edith Stein

Edith Stein (also known as Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross or Saint Edith Stein; 12 October 1891 – 9 August 1942) was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Christianity and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She is canonized as a martyr and saint of the Catholic Church; she is also one of six patron saints of Europe.

She made her perpetual vows on 21 April 1938. That same year, she and her biological sister Rosa, also a convert, were sent from Cologne in Germany to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands, for their safety. In response to the pastoral letter from the Dutch bishops on July 26, 1942, in which they made the treatment of the Jews by the Nazis a central theme, all baptized Catholics of Jewish origin (according to police reports, 244 people) were arrested by the Gestapo on the following Sunday, 2 August 1942. They were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where they were murdered in a gas chamber on 9 August 1942.

Should the Dutch bishops have issued their pastoral letter? The terrifying thing about ethics in the raw is that sometimes there are questions that can't be answered.

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