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From the Vatican Information Service. . .
Pope celebrated Mass during which he canonized Blessed Teresa Benedicta of
the Cross (Edith Stein, 1891-1942), discalced Carmelite and martyr. In his
homily, he asked that her witness might "reinforce even more the bridge of
mutual understanding between Jews and Christians."
The new saint "is an eminent daughter of Israel and a faithful daughter
of the Church," said the Holy Father. "Together with Teresa of Avila and
Therese of Lisieux, this other Teresa is among the multitude of saints
which honor the Carmelite order."
"From now on, as we celebrate the memory of this new saint (every August
9), we cannot fail to remember from year to year the 'Shoah' (the
Holocaust), that savage plan of exterminating a people, which cost the
lives of millions of Jewish brothers and sisters."
"Out of love for God and humankind," he exclaimed, "Once again. I raise
my voice in a heartfelt cry: May such a criminal initiative never be
repeated against any people, or race, anywhere on earth! It is a plea which
I address to all men and women of good will; to all those who believe in
the eternal and just God; to all those who feel united in Christ, the Word
of God made flesh."
The Pope went on to say that the experience of Edith Stein, "who faced up
to the challenges of an afflicted century like ours, is an example for us
"Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross says to us all: Don't accept anything
as truth if it is without love. And don't accept anything as love if it is
without truth! One without the other is a harmful lie."
John Paul II said that the new saint "teaches us ultimately that love for
Christ passes through pain. ... The mystery of the Cross gradually enfolded
all her life, to the point of impelling her to the supreme offering of
herself. ... Many of our contemporaries would want the Cross to be
silenced. However, nothing is more eloquent than the Cross made silent! The
true message of pain is a lesson of love. Love makes pain bear fruit and
pain deepens love."
HML/CANONIZATION:STEIN/... VIS 981012 (370)
ANGELUS REFLECTIONS ON ST. TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS
VATICAN CITY, OCT 11, 1998 (VIS) - Before praying the angelus today, the
Pope reflected on the Church's newest saint, pointing out that "St. Teresa
Benedicta of the Cross understood that the crib and the Cross were
intimately linked to each other. This inner awareness enabled her to enter
into a deep harmony with the Virgin Mary."
Edith Stein wrote of Mary: "'To be in prayer before God, to love Him with
all her heart, to implore His grace on sinful people offering herself in
reparation for this people and, as a handmaiden of the Lord, being
attentive to His every wish: this was her life'. Edith Stein, also a
daughter of the Jewish people, spoke of Mary" and outlined the way of life
she had chosen.
In remarks after the angelus prayer, the Holy Father said in English:
"Edith Stein stands out as a beacon which casts its light amid the terrible
darkness which has marred this century. In the martyr, St. Teresa Benedicta
of the Cross, so many differences meet and are resolved in peace. ... To
her prayers before God I entrust all who suffer for the sake of justice and
Speaking Polish, John Paul II added: "Thanks to her studies of philosophy
and to the grace of God, she discovered the truth about Christ who, through
the Cross and Resurrection, brought salvation to the world. She adhered to
this truth with all her heart, studied it more deeply through
contemplation, until she experienced it in its fullness, offering her life
in the camp at Auschwitz. 'The world is made up of differences,' she wrote,
'however in the end none of these will remain. Only great love will
remain'. Today these words find their most magnificent confirmation."
ANG/EDITH STEIN/... VIS 981012 (290)
CONCERT HONORS POPE'S 20 YEAR PONTIFICATE, EDITH STEIN
VATICAN CITY, OCT 11, 1998 (VIS) - Following a concert this evening in the
Paul VI Hall to commemorate both Edith Stein and the upcoming 20th
anniversary of his election as Pope, John Paul II greeted those in
attendance, including civil and religious authorities. He had special words
for the Jewish people present and the numerous relatives of Edith Stein
whom, he said, "count among their relatives such a splendid example of a
woman of culture and faith."
The Pope said that the concert made him think "of an expression of Edith
Stein's: ... 'There are circumstances in which we can understand one
another more easily without words'. Music, when it interprets noble
sentiments of the human spirit, does not need words to be understood. It is
a universal language, profound and highly expressive. ... Today's concert
also shows that music can become praise to God."
AC/CONCERT/... VIS 981012 (150)
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