The October 11, 1998 was elevated to the altars, with the name of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, the German-Jewish philosopher Edith Stein. The main promoter of this canonization complicated further understand what is its complexity, was none other than Pope John Paul II, who in his time as archbishop of Krakow was declared follower of this extraordinary woman, paradoxical case of a patriarch particularly at odds with feminist precepts and unwilling to even discuss the right of women to exercise a priestly vocation.
After analyzing some versions of his biography, my confusion is increased by running into a woman who, no doubt, would have joined the outcry from feminists in the early seventies, although they identify more with the humanist feminism that preceded the storm, was, in fact, a major precursor of that movement in Germany in the early twentieth century, attention!, he was never sorry for it.
Another exciting aspect of his biography is how his study of philosophy drawn from the heart of an Orthodox Jewish family to install hopelessly in the Catholic faith and eventually wear the Carmelite habit that would make in Sister Benedicta. This is not at all unusual if, at the back a bit, we met a young Edith to whom the phenomenologist Edmund Husserl considered his most brilliant disciple. This used to make jokes about how much the Church owed the canonization of so many souls route due to its ranks, while other versions say that it was Husserl, but he also phenomenological personalism philosopher, Max Scheler openly Catholic diffuser , who enlightened the minds and hearts of the young Edith during ofecier conferences in Göttingen at the invitation of Husserl himself. Scheler who is inspired to develop his doctoral thesis about empathy, the ability to connect one from the others.
Edith was born in Breslau, prosperous industrial city that borders the Danzig Günter Grass, the October 12, 1891, the day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the holiest of Israel's liturgical calendar. And input, this prevents one Edith celebrate their birthdays because it is a day dedicated to fasting and prayer. The mother sees this as a sign from God: the fourth of her five daughters is destined for great things. Augusta Stein widowed shortly after birth Edith, pregnant Erna (the little sister and most beloved Edith) and immediately takes over the business of wood from her husband without the luxury of stopping to mourn. Although universities do not admit women until 1908, Augusta dreams for their daughters a brighter future that marriage, so it manages to send them to school. Edith intelligence will talk about from early childhood, but as noted Bouflet Joachim, author of the biography Philosopher crucified (Editorial Sal Terrae, Spain, 2001, translated by Maria del Carmen Moreno and Ramón Alfonso Díez Aragon) (...) you find this hard intellectual chores: cleaning the house, washing dishes or remove dust furniture, seem hard labor, however, performed with the same application before putting in their homework. " This will not prevent Edith, and doorkeeper of the convent converted, surrendered happily to housework.
As for the chaotic spirit of skepticism Edith goes to atheism because in their native religion is not what we desperately seeks ... she does not know why. This does not mean that there remained indifferent because a child lives burdened with theological and eschatological questions in turn lead her to seek answers in philosophy, obviously, will only generate more doubts. Invest multiple readings to discern his way, but a particular book it paves: Life of St. Teresa of Jesus, on which the most admirable write lines that are known by the way of thinking about this saint. Closing the book, the citation said Renata Posselt in the book Edith Stein. A great woman of our time (Montecarmelo, Burgos, 1998)-said to me: "This is the truth." In Bouflet book emphasizes the difficulties caused by his conversion, for the family. His mother is seriously affected by the decision of her daughter, but intelligent woman finally ends Augusta Stein respecting it. Erna, her younger sister start practicing Catholicism disingenuously.
".... The supernatural (...) any impulse to move the man to come in himself and towards God, must be seen as an effect of grace, even if coming from natural facts and reasons . But at this point what the soul knows God, and even relationships with him, out of faith, and faith comes from hearing (...) "(" The Castle of the soul, spiritual writings, Edith Stein, Library Christian Authors, Classic of Spirituality, edition by Francisco Javier Sancho Fermin, Madrid, 2010).
In 1911, Edith became one of the first women admitted to the University of Breslau and two years later, driven by the blinded reading of the second volume of Logical Investigations, Husserl comes to the very prestigious University of Göttingen where he teaches the philosopher said (for there have been also Lou Andreas Salome, Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt) is not easy to get to his admired Husserl which has then 54 years old and lives lost in thought, he finally came ... and how. The sullen teacher surprised to learn that this little girl huge black eyes have read from beginning to end and out of breath the most intricate of his works: "You are a hero," he says, sincerely shocked, despite his legendary arrogance. The friendship between the philosopher and his student will be intimate, indissoluble, the degree of courage to say that Husserl was the best friend of Edith and Edith's only true friend of Husserl, which does not mean that she has to deal with the prejudices of all type of teacher who has trouble reading delay for years the argument, which she finally obtained her Ph.D. in phenomenology. She is also responsible to put in order the manuscripts of his teacher and assist in their classes. This does not attempt to suggest that it was a library rat: In Overall, Edith was a girl like any other, even more, is characterized by excel in sports like tennis and boating, is very fond of tours, theater, music (Bach is the only god known then) , dancing, and not objects to drink beer with friends. She also gets to fall in love with a philosopher Hans Lipps, though his biographers have chosen to ignore this detail. Being Catholic author, Bouflet, whom I consider reliable, but is estimated about 150 biographies published n the holy day-release one acre claim against this deliberate concealment: "(...) how to react to the reading of the flirtations Youth Teresa of Jesus, which she herself admits in his autobiography? ", perhaps it lies the true cause: Edith never reveals another love other than he has for Christ, despite his notes about the concept of love:" ( ...) Solo "becoming one" is possible, a proper understanding of the people. "
Edith fails to be admitted as a professor at Göttingen, women are admitted as students, but will be many years before they can run and academic. She was hired as a teacher in a school for girls run by nuns and a very low wage. They offer, however, Edith seen something even more than a living wage: a quiet and spacious room in which to write at home. This is where begins the translation of De veritae, treaty of St. Thomas Aquinas. Not only does the most perfect German translation of which have news, but it permeates the work to the extent that a comparative study between Thomism and phenomenology of Husserl. This will be finite and eternal being published in Mexico by the Fondo de Cultura Economica in 1994 and where more clearly you can see the process through which pervades Edith to Catholicism.
feminist, campaigning in the Democratic party, championing the cause of the Weimar Republic after the war and, as noted, Bouflet, is aware that the world of women at that time, more than ever, must go beyond Traditional KKK ( Kider, Kirche, Küche , children, church and kitchen). Not surprisingly, therefore, that has been a fierce critic of the rising National Socialism. Even is the first to alert the Jewish society about what is coming after a reading of Mein Kampf, Hitler. Edith then obtained a modest charge for anything at the height of his genius, at the University of Münster, where students have been inducted by Nazi propaganda. Write to Pope Pius XI side, they say, influenced the draft of the encyclical Humani Generis Unitas, which calls humanity to unite against anti-Semitism. Unfortunately, death stunned the then Pope before he released this encyclical.
Edith is fired from Münster and is then disappointed, retired to Caramel. Although it is against their Jewish origin and a novitiate for the elderly (42 years) will receive the habit during the Feast of the Good Shepherd on Sunday, April 15, 1934, after two years of his arrival. In the cloister Edith writes his best essays, as well as the autobiographical Finite and infinite, and focuses on the figure of San Juan de la Cruz, a contemporary and friend of his admired Santa Teresa. In 1941 the Gestapo surprise raid the convent and Edith is arrested regardless. It is said that Sister Benedicta by then expected this to happen from one moment to another, having expressed its intention not to resist if they were to share the fate of his family and, particularly, the fate of Christ
"(...) Every man has to suffer and die. But if he is a living member of the mystical body of Christ, then his suffering and death are a redemptive force under the divinity of the Head. That is the objective reason wished that all the suffering saints. It is not, therefore, a perverse tendency for the suffering. In the eyes of natural reason appears this as a perversion, but in light of the mystery of redemption is the most reasonable. And so those who are in Christ remain unwavering even in the subjective experience of the dark night of the distance and the abandonment of God qizás allows divine economy of salvation the suffering to free those who are tied (...) " ("The Mystery of Christmas" Spiritual Writings, p. 33)
is also known that the Nazis were especially cruel to the Jewish converts to Catholicism, who placed in a special hut. According to the testimony of a Jewish merchant from Cologne, who survived those horrors, "Many mothers seemed mired in a kind of prostration neighbor to the madness. They just moan like crazy, abandoning their children. Sister Benedicta took care of the children, cleaned, combed and I tried the food and the most necessary care. "
The August 9, 1942, Sister Benedicta, Edith Stein, one of the most privileged minds twentieth century, is carried along with her older sister Rosa to the gas chamber in Auschwitz-Birkenau.Fragments of the film The seventh home, inspired by the life of Edith Stein, with English subtitles