70th anniversary of the death of Edith Stein,

Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross OCD

This year, in August 2012 the 70th anniversary of the death in Auschwitz of Edith Stein, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Co-Patroness of Europe took place.

The Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oswiecim, the Pontifical University John Paul II in Krakow and the Krakow Province of Discalced Carmelites organized the following commemorations in Oświęcim / Auschwitz:

  • 08-10 June 2012 – International Scientific Seminar >> more
  • 07-09. August 2012 – Retreats >> more
  • 09 August 2012 – Main religious Ceremonies

The title for our commemoration is “Edith connects”. Through her biography of manifold searching, her strong identity with a simultaneous high respect for others, and her share in the tragic history of Europe’s last century Edith Stein speaks to many people. We wanted to show different aspects of the meaning of her life and of her growing influence in many parts of Europe.

The memory of the death of Edith Stein is for us in Oświęcim of particular importance. She was killed in Auschwitz because of her Jewish roots. She died as a victim of the Shoah, but also with her Christian faith. She may not represent all Jewish victims for us, but she reminds us of them. We express our Christian belief at the edge of Auschwitz with respect for the identity of others.

“Today’s proclamation of Edith Stein as a Co-Patroness of Europe is intended to raise on this Continent a banner of respect, tolerance and acceptance which invites all men and women to understand and appreciate each other, transcending their ethnic, cultural and religious differences in order to form a truly fraternal society.”

John Paul II, 10/1/1999
Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio proclaiming
Saint Bridget of Sweden, Saint Catharine of Siena
and Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Co-Patronesses of Europe

Bishops present at the celebrations:

The Archbishop Péter Cardinal Erdő, Primas of Hungary, President of the Council of European Episcopates
The Archbishop Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz, Krakow, Poland
The Archbishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner, Köln, Germany [Köln*]
The Archbishop Kazimierz Cardinal Nycz, Warsaw, Poland
The Bishop Dr. Karl-Heinz Wiesemann, Speyer, Germany [Speyer*], representing also in the name of the Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, Freiburg i.Br., Germany [Freiburg*], the German Bishop’s Konference
The Archbishop Marian Gołębiewski, Wrocław, Poland [Breslau*]
The Archbishop Wiktor Skworc, Katowice, Poland
The Bishop Jan Kopiec, Gliwice, Poland [Lubliniec*]
The Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy, Bielsko-Żywiec, Poland [Oświęcim/Auschwitz*]
The Bishop Frans Jozef Marie Wiertz, Echt, Roermond, Holandia [Echt*]
The Auxiliary Bishop Heinz-Günter Bongartz, representing the Bishop Norbert Trelle, Hildesheim, Germany [Göttingen*]
The Auxiliary Bishop Stefan Zekorn, representing the Bishop Felix Genn, Münster, Germany [Münster*]

[*] towns, connected with Edith Stein’s biography 


Religious Celebrations

9. August 2012

10:00 Meditative Walk
on Ramp in former Birkenau Camp
Symbolic participation in the final path of Edith Stein.
Prepared in cooperation with the Polish Council of Christians and Jews.
>> full text

11:00 Solemn Mass
at monument in former Birkenau Camp
Presided by Archbishop Péter Cardinal Erdő, Primas of Hungary,
President of the Council of European Episcopates
Homily by Archbishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner, Köln, Germany
>> full text

15:00 Musical “In the footsteps of Edith Stein”
at the Centre of Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim
prepared jointly by the Edith Stein schools in Paderborn, Germany, and Lubliniec, Poland

The Exhibition of Mira Żelechower-Aleksiun “Calendar of Memory”

Centrum Dialogu i Modlitwy w Oświęcimiu
ul. Kolbego 1
Tel.: +48 (33) 8431000