August 9, 2022
80th Anniversary of Edith Stein’s death
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross OCD
9 August 2022 in Oświęcim
“…please allow me
to offer myself to the heart of Jesus
as an atonement
for true peace…”
Edyta Stein to Sr. Ottilii Thannisch OCD, Prioress of Carmel in Echt:
† Dear mother, please allow me
To offer myself to the heart of Jesus as an atonement for true peace:
that the rule of Antichrist will collapse
if possible without a new world war
and a new order can be set up.
I want it today because it’s the 12th hour.
I know I’m nothing, but Jesus wants it
and He will certainly call many others in these days.
Passion Sunday, 26. III. 39
Own Translation from German.
On August 9, 2021, we will commemorate Edith Stein, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Patroness of Europe, who on the 9th of August 1942 was murdered in Auschwitz.
St. Pope John Paul II proclaimed her a Patroness of Europe and thus gave her to us as an advocate.
Edith Stein was born in 1891 into a Jewish family in Wroclaw, Poland (formerly Breslau, a German city). She studied philosophy in various German cities. In WWI she was a Red Cross nurse. After completing her studies, she was baptized in the Catholic Church. She became a well-known lecturer. When the Nazis came to power in Germany, she entered the Carmelite Order of nuns. In 1942 she was murdered in Auschwitz because of her Jewish descent.
Edith Stein lived in a very troubled time. She was a seeker and she found her home in God. “It has always been far from me to think that God’s mercy allows itself to be circumscribed by the visible church’s boundaries. God is truth. All who seek truth seek God, whether this is clear to them or not” (ESGA 3, letter 542). She prayed a lot, sometimes all night long, even before she entered the convent. She presented to God all her fears about her personal life, the fate of the Jewish people, the future of Germany, peace for Europe and other matters. In His Love she found peace, clarity and inner certainty about the path she had to follow.
From this perspective she has tried to give an answer to the horrors of the First World War, the growth of totalitarian ideologies, the increasingly aggressive anti-Semitism and the weakness of the churches. She wanted to influence thinking in universities, pedagogy in schools, the engagement of Christians in the world, and even the behaviour of the Pope. When she could no longer act in public, she led a prayer life in a convent and entrusted her fate to Divine Providence – until her death in Auschwitz.
Today we live in different times, also with great uncertainty. Europe is experiencing Russia’s war against Ukraine, which is shaking up all of us. We turn to the Patroness of Europe and ask her for help. Through her intercession, we want to pray for peace in Europe and better understand our mission in this world.
WE INVITE YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CELEBRATIONS ON AUGUST 9, 2022 IN OŚWIĘCIM:
People from all over Europe are invited, especially those directly related to Edith Stein.
For those who will be in Oświęcim / Auschwitz for the first time or who want to experience the retreat, we offer an extended program:
August 7, 2022 (Sunday)
Arrival of the participants
20:00 Welcome and introduction to the topic
August 8, 2022 (Monday)
9: 00-12: 30 Visiting the former Auschwitz-Birkenau camp
14: 30-16: 30 Visiting the city of Oświęcim or lecture / conversation (Edith Stein / Where was God / Dialog after Auschwitz)
17:00 Holy Mass
6:00 p.m. Dinner
19:30 evening – presentation of the groups
9.08.2022 (Tuesday) Main celebrations
10:00 Prayer Way in Birkenau
Welcoming on behalf of the Polish Episcopate: Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, Metropolitan of Krakow.
Address on behalf of the German Episcopate: Bishop Bertram Meier, Augsburg.
13:30 – 14:15 Prayer for peace with Catholics in Japan
Virtual Bridge, organised by the Edith Stein Society of Germany with the Catholic University of Nagasaki
14:30 Small group talks
based on the texts of Edith Stein
17:00 Holy Mass. in Carmel Convent
Welcoming by the Bishop of the Diocese of Bielsko-Żywiec, Roman Pindel.
Main Celebrant is Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, Rome.
If you are interested in participating in the entire program on August 9 or 7-10, please apply to
Centrum Dialogu i Modlitwy w Oświęcimiu
ul. Kolbego 1
+48 33 843 1000