Today is the 70th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Edith Stein, one of the great saints of the 20th century and one of the patrons of Europe. Born a Jew, turned atheist, converted to Christianity, became a nun, was a great philosopher (student of Husserl, father of phenomenology) and champion of women’s rights, she finally gave her life for her faith, choosing to remain at Auschwitz with her fellow Jewish prisoners rather than using her baptism as a get out card. She is a towering example of a true disciple of Jesus.
The following is a poem she wrote to Mary on Good Friday 1938:
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.