Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Saints of Aushwitz: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and St. Maximillian Kolbe

Edith Stein, also known as Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, was born to a prominent Jewish family. She abandoned her faith as a teenager and while studying at her University became interested in the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Avila. She then converted to Catholicism and followed Saint Teresa of Avila's footsteps and became a Carmelite nun in the Netherlands. The Nazis began arresting all Dutch Jews who had become Christians when they occupies the Netherlands in 1940. When Saint Teresa Benedicta was arrested and transported to Auschwitz in 1942 she was sent to a gas chamber soon after arriving because the guards thought she was unfit to work. She is the patron saint of Europe, loss of parents, martyrs and World Youth Day. Today is Feast of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
Prayer to Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross:

Dear Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross,
Child of the Day of Atonement –
Yom Kippur,
Daughter of Abraham,
Bride of Christ,
Seeker of truth,
Scholar of the Church,
Handmaid of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,
Servant of the Suffering Servant,
Presence of mercy,
Victim of victimizer,
Embracer of the Cross of Christ-like love,
Martyr of Auschwitz,
Imitator of Jesus,
Conqueror of evil,
Friend of God, Edith,
Please pray for me.
Please intercede for this petition of mine.
(Here mention your petition).

Saint Edith Stein, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Pray for us!

Although it is not Saint Maximillian Kolbe's feast today, I thought it was appropriate from him to be mentioned and celebrated because his feast falls on a Sunday this year. Saint Maximillian Kolbe is the other saint of Auschwitz. He was martyred almost a year prior to Saint Teresa Benedicta. His story is a little different. St. Maximillian Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan priest that sacrificed himself to save another prisoner. Ten men were chosen to die as a punishment for one prisoner attempting to escape. When the ten were selected, St. Maximillian Kolbe offered his life to save a man who began crying when he heard he had been chosen to die. St. Maximillian survived over two weeks of starvation prior to receiving a lethal injection that killed him. He is the patron saint of families, prisoners, journalists, political prisoners, drug addicts and the pro-life movement. If you would like to know more about this amazing man, checkout 9 Things to Know about St. Maximillian Kolbe.
“Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” - John 15:13
In honor of both of these great saints we are enjoying Polish Sausage with Caramelized Onions and Peppers. Polish Sausage to represent Saint Maximillian, the Polish Priest and Caramelized Onions to represent the Carmelite Nun, Saint Teresa Benedicta.

Prayer to Saint Maximillian Kolbe:

St. Maximilian Kolbe, faithful follower of St. Francis of Assisi, inflamed by the love of God you dedicated your life to the practice of virtue and to works of the apostolate.  Look down with favor upon us who devoutly confide in your intercession. 

Having consecrated yourself to the Immaculate Virgin Mary, you inspired countless souls to holy life and to various forms of the apostolate in order to do good to others and to spread the kingdom of God.  Obtain for us the grace by our lives and labors to draw many souls to Christ. 

In your close conformity to our Divine Savior, you reached such an intense degree of love that you offered your life to save a fellow prisoner.  Implore God that we, inflamed by such ardent charity, may through our living faith and our apostolic works witness Christ to our fellowman, and thus merit to join you in the blessed vision of God.  

Saint Maximillian Kolbe, pray for us!

Life, Love, & Sacred Art is offering a beautiful coloring page to celebrate Edith Stein today. Holy Heroes has a Glory Story CD to share Saint Maximillian's story.

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