Jewish Saint

Our beloved late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, beatified St. Teresa Benedicta, canonized her, and then declared her to be a Co-Patroness of Europe.

She held a special place in the Pope’s heart, obviously: The Nazis killed her in the Pope’s homeland, under the brutal regime which he himself endured as a young man. And, like the Pope’s oldest friend from childhood, with whom he liked to play ping-pong, among other things—like Jerzy Kluger, St. Teresa Benedicta was Jewish.

Before St. Teresa Benedicta became Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, she was called Edith Stein. She was a prominent philosopher who had rejected the Jewish faith she grew up with. Then she found Christ, or rather Christ found her. She became a Catholic and a Carmelite nun.

Played ping-pong with the Pope. (RIP. He died this past New Year’s Eve.)
When the bishops where Sister Teresa Benedicta lived protested against the Nazi abuses, the Nazis retaliated by arresting Teresa and sending her to Auschwitz. The saint willingly died with her brother- and sister-Jews, out of love for the crucified Christ, her Jewish Savior, Whom she loved above all.

When Pope John Paul canonized St. Teresa Benedicta, he declared that her Memorial every year should serve as an occasion for the Church to remember the vicious evil of the Holocaust.

Today we pray for all the victims of Nazi violence, that they might rest in peace. And we re-dedicate ourselves to standing up for the universal brotherhood of all mankind.

The Pope said, when he instituted this feast day: “We must all stand together for human dignity. There is only one human family.”

One thought on “Jewish Saint

  1. Father Mark,

    Of course, as we remember, we must also look about us to assure that we’re not going blindly down the same path the World stumbled down as the Nazis overran Europe.

    Since we’ve a seeing eye, not a blind one, it is relatively easy to spot the primary example – abortion, both here and abroad. The next step is to discover how we, the Church, led by our bishops, effectively decry, resist, and fight against this scourge?

    Perhaps, once we’ve overcome this process, which has killed millions of innocent victims, we can move on to the second scourge, a World-wide (here, as well in distant countries) military campaign (albeit largely a guerilla war), masked as a religion, which seeks the destruction of the Church.

    That being done, we can turn to the less-physically-deadly threat to the more-disastrous-threat-to-the-soul (yes, I know Christ says to fear first that which can kill the soul; but without a body or two remaining, the Church will not exist). The forces within our nation that seek to legitimize immorality are doing so by codifying it in law. As Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, the band played “The World Turned Upside Down” ( ). That could very well be our country if we allow this process to continue. Instead of a law founded and based on moral law, we will have a law based on immorality. This is Jeremiah’s month. If we want to hear how the Lord might react to our becoming a part of such a nation, we need only listen in Mass.

    In God we trust. But, resist the godless state like Hell (it’s a lot like it).



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