Who was Edith Stein – and how did her quest lead her to the Truth of Jesus Christ? Many Endow women would identify themselves as seekers on a quest for truth, just as Edith Stein was. She was a German Jewish philosopher whose search for truth led to her conversion to Catholicism and later into her vocation as a Carmelite nun until her martyr’s death at Auschwitz. Upon entrance into religious life, Edith took the name Teresa Benedicta a Cruce (Teresa, Blessed of the Cross). John Paul II, himself a philosopher and well-acquainted with the thought and writings of Edith Stein, recognized her example of holiness and canonized her in 1998. Here are the Holy Father’s words spoken in his homily, on that occasion:
The love of Christ was the fire that inflamed the life of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Long before she realized it, she was caught by this fire. At the beginning she devoted herself to freedom. For a long time, Edith Stein was a seeker. Her mind never tired of searching, and her heart always yearned for hope. She traveled the arduous path of philosophy with passionate enthusiasm. Eventually she was rewarded; she seized the truth. Or rather, she was seized by it. Then she discovered that truth had a name: Jesus Christ. From that moment on, the Incarnate Word was her One and All.
Look inside the Edith Stein: Seeker of Truth course material.
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Author – Dr. Elizabeth A. Mitchell
Dr. Elizabeth A. Mitchell is the first laywoman to graduate with a Doctoral degree in Institutional Social Communications from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, in Rome. After completing her undergraduate studies in English Literature at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH in 1997, Mitchell then earned her Licentiate degree in Institutional Social Communications the Holy Cross in June of 2000. Her Doctoral dissertation, Artist and Image: Artistic Creativity and Personal Formation in the Thought of Edith Stein, was published in 2003 and is the third in the Dissertationses Callana of the Holy Cross Department of Institutional Social Communications. After completing her Doctoral degree, Dr. Mitchell returned to the United States, where she currently works as the Director of Development and Dean of Students at Trinity Academy in Wisconsin. Dr. Mitchell also serves as the Co-Director of the Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. Media Apostolate based in Chicago, IL, and has been named an Expert Consultant for the “Cause of Canonization of Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.”
Contributing Authors: Sr. Prudence Allen, RSM, Ph.D. and Dr. Terry Wright, Ph.D. Both Sr. Prudence Allen and Dr. Wright are professors at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, CO.