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The youngest of seven children in a Jewish family, St. Edith Stein broke with Judaism at age 13. Later known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, she graduated at age 25 from Gottingen University, Germany with a philosophy doctorate degree in 1916. She studied Catholicism in Cologne and converted on Jan. 1, 1922 at St. Martin’s Church. She was known as a spiritual author.
Edith Stein joined the Cologne Carmel, but was smuggled to the Echt, Holland Carmel as the Nazis took over Germany in 1938. When the Nazis entered Holland, she was taken prisoner and transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. She was gassed to death in 1942.
Pope John Paul II beatified Edith Stein in 1987 at a moving ceremony at Cologne cathedral where she was celebrated as a light snuffed out by evil. He canonized her on Oct. 11, 1998. Her feast day is Aug. 9.