Thought for the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Thought for the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

“Dear brothers and sisters!   The love of Christ was the fire that inflamed the life of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.   Long before she realised 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 better: 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.   Looking back as a Carmelite on this period of her life, she wrote to a Benedictine nun:  “Whoever seeks the truth is seeking God, whether consciously or unconsciously”.

Although Edith Stein had been brought up religiously by her Jewish mother, at the age of 14 she “had consciously and deliberately stopped praying”.   She wanted to rely exclusively on herself and was concerned to assert her freedom in making decisions about her life.   At the end of a long journey, she came to the surprising realisation:  only those who commit themselves to the love of Christ become truly free.

This woman had to face the challenges of such a radically changing century as our own. Her experience is an example to us.  The modern world boasts of the enticing door which says: everything is permitted.   It ignores the narrow gate of discernment and renunciation……Pay attention!   Your life is not an endless series of open doors!   Listen to your heart!   Do not stay on the surface but go to the heart of things!   And when the time is right, have the courage to decide!   The Lord is waiting for you to put your freedom in his good hands.

…St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross says to us all:  Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth!   One without the other becomes a destructive lie.
Finally, the new saint teaches us that love for Christ undergoes suffering.   Whoever truly loves does not stop at the prospect of suffering:  he accepts communion in suffering with the one he loves.”…(Excerpt from the Homily of St Pope John Paul for the Canonisation of St Teresa Benedicta – Sunday, 11 October 1998)

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross – Pray for us!

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Quote/s of the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Quote/s of the Day – 9 August – The Memorial of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

“Today I stood with you beneath the cross
And felt more clearly than I ever did
That you became our Mother only there.

But those whom you have chosen for companions
To stand with you around the eternal throne,

They must stand with you beneath the Cross,
And with the lifeblood of their bitter pains,
Must purchase heavenly glory for those souls
Whom God’s own Son entrusted to their care.”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross – Good Friday 1938

today i stood with you beneath the cross - st teresa benedicta

“Our love of neighbour is the measure of our love of God.
For Christians — and not only for them —
no one is a ‘stranger’.
The love of Christ knows no borders”

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

our love of neighbour is the measure of our love of god - st teresa benedicta


One Minute Reflection – 9 August

One Minute Reflection – 9 August

Have no anxiety at all but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus…Philippians 4:6-7

REFLECTION – “Let go of your plans.  The first hour of your morning belongs to God. Tackle the day’s work that He charges you with and He will give you the power to accomplish it.”…..St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

let go of your plans - st teresa benedicta

PRAYER – May St Teresa Benedicta pray for us Lord, as we celebrate with joy her yearly feast, her purity and strength of soul are precious gifts which light us on our way. Through our Lord Jesus Christ in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.   St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, please pray for us that we may manifest strength and courage with our hand in the hand of the Lord, amen.

st teresa benedicta pray for us



Our Morning Offering – 9 August

Our Morning Offering – 9 August

Excerpt from a Prayer
By St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

O Prince of Peace,
to all who receive You,
Your bright light and peace.
Help me to live in daily contact with You,
listening to the words You have spoken
and obeying them.
O Divine Child, I place my hands in Yours;
I shall follow You.
Oh, let Your divine life flow into me.
O my God, fill my soul with holy joy,
courage and strength to serve You.
Enkindle Your love in me
and then walk with me
along the next stretch of road before me.
I do not see very far ahead
but when I have arrived
where the horizon now closes down,
a new prospect will open before me
and I shall meet with peace.
How wondrous are the marvels of Your love,
We are amazed, we stammer and grow dumb,
for word and spirit fail us.

prayer of st teresa benedicta - o Prince of Peace


Saint of the Day – 9 August – St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross OCD

Saint of the Day – 9 August – St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross  OCD Martyr, Carmelite Nun, Philosopher, Writer, Teacher and Lecturer – (12 October 1891 at Breslaw, Dolnoslaskie, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) as Edith Stein – gassed on 9 August 1942 in the ovens of Oswiecim (a.k.a. Auschwitz), Malopolskie, Poland).   Canonised on 11 October 1998 by St Pope John Paul II.   Patronages – Europe; loss of parents; converted Jews; Martyrs; World Youth Day.   Attributes – Yellow Star of David on a Discalced Carmelite nun’s habit, flames, a book.

st-edith-stein teresa benedicta infoedith-stein-8 her life08-09 Edith-Stein


Edith Stein was born on October 12, 1891 – a date that coincided with her family’s celebration of Yom Kippur, the Jewish “day of atonement.”   Edith’s father died when she was just two years old and she gave up the practice of her Jewish faith as an adolescent.

As a young woman with profound intellectual gifts, Edith gravitated toward the study of philosophy and became a pupil of the renowned professor Edmund Husserl in 1913. Through her studies, the non-religious Edith met several Christians whose intellectual and spiritual lives she admired.

After earning her degree with the highest honours from Gottingen University in 1915, she served as a nurse in an Austrian field hospital during World War I.   She returned to academic work in 1916, earning her doctorate after writing a highly-regarded thesis on the phenomenon of empathy.   She remained interested in the idea of religious commitment but had not yet made such a commitment herself.   In 1921, while visiting friends, Edith spent an entire night reading the autobiography of the 16th century Carmelite nun St. Teresa of Avila.   “When I had finished the book,” she later recalled, “I said to myself: This is the truth.”   She was baptised into the Catholic Church on the first day of January, 1922.

Edith intended to join the Carmelites immediately after her conversion but would ultimately have to wait another 11 years before taking this step.   Instead, she taught at a Dominican school and gave numerous public lectures on women’s issues.   She spent 1931 writing a study of St. Thomas Aquinas and took a university teaching position in 1932.

In 1933, the rise of Nazism, combined with Edith’s Jewish ethnicity, put an end to her teaching career.   After a painful parting with her mother, who did not understand her Christian conversion, she entered a Carmelite convent in 1934, taking the name “Teresa Benedicta of the Cross” as a symbol of her acceptance of suffering.


“I felt,” she wrote, “that those who understood the Cross of Christ should take upon themselves on everybody’s behalf.”   She saw it as her vocation “to intercede with God for everyone” but she prayed especially for the Jews of Germany whose tragic fate was becoming clear.

“I ask the Lord to accept my life and my death,” she wrote in 1939, “so that the Lord will be accepted by His people and that His kingdom may come in glory, for the salvation of Germany and the peace of the world.”

After completing her final work, a study of St. John of the Cross entitled “The Science of the Cross,” Teresa Benedicta was arrested along with her sister Rosa (who had also become a Catholic) and the members of her religious community, on August 7, 1942.   The arrests came in retaliation against a protest letter by the Dutch Bishops, decrying the Nazi treatment of Jews.   Edith commented, “I never knew that people could be like this, neither did I know that my brothers and sisters would have to suffer like this. … I pray for them every hour. Will God hear my prayers? He will certainly hear them in their distress.”   Prof Jan Nota, who was greatly attached to her, wrote later: “She is a witness to God’s presence in a world where God is absent.”   On 7 August, early in the morning, 987 Jews were deported to Auschwitz.   It was too, on 9 August, that Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, her sister and many other of her people were gassed.

When Edith Stein was beatified in Cologne on 1 May 1987, the Church honoured “a daughter of Israel”, as St Pope John Paul II put it, who, as a Catholic during Nazi persecution, remained faithful to the crucified Lord Jesus Christ and, as a Jew, to her people in loving faithfulness.”    St John Paul II canonised her in 1998 and proclaimed her a co-patroness of Europe the next year.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints’ Memorials – 9 August

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Optional Memorial) – and the Film Trailer –

St Amor of Franche-Comté
St Autor of Metz
St Bandaridus of Soissons
St Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro
St Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola
St Claude Richard
St Domitian of Châlons
Bl Falco the Hermit
St Firmus of Verona
Bl John Norton
Bl John of Salerno
Bl John Talbot
St Marcellian of Civitavecchia
St Marianne Cope
Bl Michal Tomaszek
St Nathy
St Numidicus of Carthage
St Phelim
Bl Richard Bere
St Romanus Ostiarius
St Rusticus of Sirmium
St Rusticus of Verona
St Secundian of Civitavecchia
St Stephen of Burgos
Bl Thomas Palaser
St Verian of Civitavecchia
Bl Zbigniew Adam Strzalkowski

Martyrs of Civitavecchia: Three Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than the names – Marcellian, Secundian and Verian. 250 near Civitavecchia, Italy.

Martyrs of Constantinople: 10 saints: A group of ten Christians who were arrested, tortured and executed for defending an icon of Christ in defiance of orders from Emperor Leo the Isaurian. We know the names of three, but nothing else about them – Julian, Marcian and Mary. They were beheaded in Constantinople.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Martyred Colombians of Barcelona: – 7 beati: Additional Memorial – 30 July as one of the Martyred Hospitallers of Spain
A group of Colombian members of the Hospitallers of Saint John of God who worked together in Spain, and who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Blessed Alfonso Antonio Ramírez Salazar
• Blessed Gabriel Maya Gutiérrez
• Blessed José Velázquez Peláez
• Blessed Luis Ayala Niño
• Blessed Luis Modesto Páez Perdomo
• Blessed Ramón Ramírez Zuluoga
• Blessed Rubén de Jesús López Aguilar
They were martyred on 9 August 1936 in Barcelona, Spain and Beatified on 25 October 1992 by Pope John Paul II.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Antonio Mateo Salamero
Bl Faustino Oteiza Segura
Bl Florentín Felipe Naya
Bl Florentino Asensio Barroso
Bl Francisco López-Gasco Fernández-Largo
Bl Guillermo Plaza Hernández
Bl Joan Vallés Anguera
Bl José María Garrigues Hernández
Bl Josep Figuera Rey
Bl Josep Maria Aragones Mateu
Bl Julián Pozo Ruiz de Samaniego
Bl Mateo Molinos Coloma
Bl Narcís Sitjà Basté