Monday, August 09, 2010

St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross - Photos of the Life of Edith Stein

The following information is from Edith Stein: Her Life in Photos and Documents by Maria Amata Neyer, O.C.D., Translated by Waltruat Stein, Ph.D.

This photo of little Edith Stein is a detail of the following family portrait.

The family portrait was taken around 1894. However, this photo was taken after the death of Mr. Stein, Edith's father. "After the sudden death of the father, the family members were sorry that they had no family portrait, and so they had a passport photo of the deceased father inserted into the picture."

"Frau Auguste Stein used to divide her family into three groups: the boys, the girls and the 'children'. The last were the 'afterthoughts'Erna and Edith. The two sisters were bound in a special friendship throughout life.

Edith's most difficult time was during the winter semester of 1913-1914. She wanted to dedicate herself to working on her doctoral dissertation with the theme On the Problem of Empathy. But it was not meant to be. "I gradually worked myself into real despair...I could no longer cross the street without wishing that a car would run over me...and I would not come out alive..."

"In the Cadet Academy of Monavian Weisskirchen, which was converted to a typhoid military hospital, there lay thousands of very ill soldiers. Auguste Stein [Edith's mother] tried to forbid Edith to go there. 'You will not go with my consent!' 'Then I must do so without your consent,' retorted Edith. The nursing staff in Moravian Weisskirchen occasionally put on a party. It was harmless, but Edith Stein 'Nurse Edith' was uncomfortable. 'I thought about my patients,' she writes, and adds that she was also not used to cigarettes and strong coffee."

While a student teacher at St. Magdalene in Speyer.

"At a lecture on St. Elizabeth of Thuringia on May 30, 1931, in St. Elizabeth's jubilee year, Edith Stein spoke elven times at celebrations of the Saint's seven hundredth anniversary. It was important to her to instill great examples of the Christian life into the hearts of her audience.

Edith Stein at 40 years of age in 1931.

"After the violence of the government's Kristallnacht, Edith Stein decided to emigrate to a foreign Carmel.  Her plan of going to a monastery in the Holy Land fell through.  So she chose Echt in Holland.  Edith Stein needed a photo for her passport. This picture was taken on the threshold of the open door of the enclosure.  On the whitewashed wall of the convent passage, one can very faintly recognize the cross handing there that can be seen over the head of St. Benedicta of the Cross."
Chronology of Events and Dates in the Life of Edith Stein

1891 October 12: Born as a Jew in Breslau

1911 High school diploma with honors

1911-1913 Studies in Breslau: German, history, psychology and philosophy

1913-1915 Studies in Göttingen: philosophy (Husserl), German, history.

1915 Staatsexamen (course exam) in Göttingen with honors.

1916 Assistant instructor in Breslau

1916-1918 Research assistant to Edmund Husserl in Freiburg.

1919-1923 Private scholarly work; fruitless attempts to qualify as a university lecturer.

1921 Reading of the Life of St. Teresa of Avila in the Conrad-Martius house in Bergzabern/Pfalz; conversion decision.

1922 January 1: Baptism and first Holy Communion in the parish church of St. Martin in Bergzabern.
February 2: Confirmation in the private chapel of the bishop of Speyer.

1923-1931 Teacher at St. Magdalene's, the Dominican girls' school and education school in Speyer.

1932-1933 Instructor at the German Institute for Scientific Pedagogy in Münster.

1933 October 14: Entrance into the Carmel in Cologne.

1934 April 15: Clothing as Sister Teresia Benedicta a Cruce.

1935 April 21: Taking of First Vows. Profession for three years.

1938 April 21: Perpetual vows.
May 1: So-called veiling celebration.
December 31: Emigration to Echt, Holland

1934-1942 Production of her most important works, Finite and Eternal Being and Science of the Cross, and also many shorter works.

1942 August 2: Arrest and transport to Amersfoort.
August 4: Continuation from Amersfoort to Camp Westerbork.
August 9: Arrival in Auschwitz, murder in Birkenau.

1962 January 4: Initiation of the ecclesiastical process for the beatification of Edith Stein by the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Josef Frings.
July 25: Initiation of the examination of the writings of Edith Stein.

1971 July 7: Celebration of the conclusion of the examination of writings in Cologne.
March 7: Initiation of the third part of the process: "De-non-cultu."

1972 August 9: Conclusion of the entire diocesan process by Cardinal Höffner in a celebration at the Cologne Carmel of the thirtieth anniversary of Edith Stein's death; in conjunction with this, the transfer of all the documents to Rome.

1987 May 1: Beatification of Edith Stein by Pope John Paul II in Cologne.

1988 October 11: Canonization by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter's in Rome.

1 comment:

Mimi said...

Even though she is post-schism, she's such an interesting and saintly character.