This Thursday (9 August) we remember St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. This remarkable saint was a brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was 14. Born, and also known as Edith Stein, she was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey that led to her Baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she imitated Teresa by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
In 1938, she moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands. The Nazis occupied that country in 1940. In retaliation for being denounced by the Dutch bishops, the Nazis arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa, also a Catholic, died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.
Saint John Paul II beatified Teresa Benedicta in 1987 and canonized her 12 years later.