Auschwitz Event to Commemorate Edith Stein's Death

To Include Ecumenical Prayer for Holy Land

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AUSCHWITZ, Poland, JULY 4, 2002 ( The 60th anniversary of the death of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross — Edith Stein — will be commemorated here Aug. 9.

The event will include ecumenical prayer for the Holy Land. The event is being organized jointly by the Archdiocese of Krakow, the Diocese of Bielsko-Zywiec, and the Carmelite Province of Krakow, the Web page of religious communities ( reports.

Cardinals Jean-Marie Lustiger of Paris, Joachim Meisner of Cologne, Friedrich Wetter of Munich and Henryk Roman Gulbinowicz of Wroclaw, and other Polish and German bishops, were invited for that date.

“The celebration foresees a Mass in the monastery of the Carmelite Sisters of Auschwitz and an ecumenical prayer in the field of Birkenau,” Father Camilo Maccise, general of the Discalced Carmelites, wrote in a letter to the Carmelite and Teresian Family.

“With this letter, I wish to invite everyone, and especially our contemplative Carmelite Sisters, to join the prayer of this day. A particular intention should be that of imploring the Lord through the intercession of Edith Stein, daughter of the people of Israel, for peace in the Holy Land, still racked by struggles, hatred and division,” Father Maccise added.

On “the 60th anniversary of the death of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, our prayer takes on an ecumenical dimension, to help religions become sources of peace and reconciliation in the world,” he stressed.

Edith Stein was born in Breslau, Germany (today’s Wroclaw, Poland), on Oct. 12, 1891. She was the youngest of 11 children born to a Jewish family. After converting to Catholicism and entering the Carmel, she died in a Nazi gas chamber at Auschwitz, on Aug. 9, 1942.

John Paul II beatified the Carmelite religious in Cologne on May 1, 1987, and canonized Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, whom he named a co-patroness of Europe, on Oct. 11, 1998, at St. Peter’s. The Church observes her liturgical memorial on Aug. 9.

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