- Category : Religion-Saint-Stigmatist
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Clarion 2
German Jew who took the name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross as a Roman Catholic nun. On 18 October 1998, she was canonized by the Church as a Saint. In that she was born Jewish, Jewish leaders termed the canonization "problematic," "offensive" and "an attempt to appropriate the Holocaust without coming to grips with it." The act is seen by some to be part of Pope John Paul II's grand plan for the church's millennial jubilee, an orchestration of Catholic-Jewish brotherhood.
Born on Yom Kippur, Stein renowned her faith and declared herself an atheist by her teens. As a student at the University of Gottingen, she became acquainted with Edmund Husseri and became interested in his philosophy. When Husseri moved to the University of Freiburg, he asked Stein to join him there as his assistant. She received her doctorate in leading philosophers, becoming one of the first German women to earn a Ph.D., specializing in the philosophical sub discipline of phenomenology. At Gottenberg, she was first introduced to Catholicism through Christian phenomena. Attracted to this faith, she returned on a holiday in 1921 to Breslau, where her profound encounter with the autobiography of the mystic St. Theresa of Avila inspired her conversion. She was baptized on 21 January 1922 and gave up her assistantship with Husseri to teach at a Dominican girls' school in Speyer, 1922-1932. While at Speyer she translated St. Thomas Aquinas' De Veritate (On Truth) and familiarized herself with the R.C. philosophy in general. In 1932 she became a lecturer at the Institute for Pedagogy at Munster but, because of anti-Semite legislation passed by the Nazi government, was forced to resign the post in 1933.
Stein entered the Carmelite convent at Cologne in 1934, taking the vows of a Carmelite nun. While there, she completed her metaphysical work, "Endliches und ewiges Sein."
Sister Teresa's faith did not shield her from the Nazi horror. She was made to wear the Jewish star, and although her order transferred her to Holland in 1938, she was rounded up along with her sister Rosa, also a convert, and other Jews on 26 July 1942 by the Nazi occupation forces. Survivors of the death camp testified that she helped all other sufferers with great compassion. On 9 August 1942, she and her sister both died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
Catholic conversion is a delicate subject to Jews, and her present recognition represents an area of unease. To qualify as a saint, she is said to have performed healing rites, and prayers to her have resulted in recovery.