Saint Edith Stein

Saint Edith Stein by H.Reed Armstrong. This bust can been seen at

Today is the celebration of the feast day of Saint Edith Stein. In light of all of the rhetoric that has been coming out of the secular and religious press lately about the return of anti-Semitism in Catholic attitudes and even in the old Tridentine Liturgy, it is important that we remember the life and martyrdom of this great modern Jewish saint.
Such an expression seems to be an oxymoron, that is Jewish and Saint, however that status is part of both of our theological and philosophical histories of faith. We cannot permit the potential rise of anti-Semite mentalities to happen anywhere within our world. As faithful believers in the one true God, we share a rich theological ancestry with the Chosen People of Israel.
The Jewish people are our brothers and sisters in faith, and the life of Saint Edith Stein is an excellent example of how a person’s theological journey grows and develops within both the Jewish and Catholic faiths. Her life and death are exceptional examples of the constant journey all of us are on while we seek an understanding of our faith and our theological identity.
However, we share not only the desire for theological identity, but we also share the same theological foundations with the Jewish faith. As Catholics we need to acknowledge that we are in the deepest history of our journey towards salvation essentially faithful inheritors to the promises made to Abraham, our common Father in Faith. I guess that provides us an opportunity to search for all types of faithful coexistence with all of the monotheistic Children of Abraham that includes both the Jewish people and the people of Islam.
In his philosophical didactic John Paul II could not fathom how any Catholic could harbor any sense of anti-Semitism in any manner or form. The historical progression of Christianity established very clearly our common Jewish ancestry and as a result our common ancestry with Islam as well.
Saint Edith Stein is an example of a faithful follower of both the Torah and the Gospels. She showed that there is a true relationship and brotherhood with all believers in a monotheistic God. Her death is an example as well, that any persecution against any group of God’s faithful believers is never acceptable in any way shape or form. Saint Edith Stein is a modern example that loudly calls out to Catholics, Jews and Moslems a clear message…never again, never again should brothers and sisters in faith cause bloodshed among each other in the name of Jesus, Yahweh or Allah.

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