St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross was born Edith Stein into a Jewish family. In her search for the Truth, she became an atheist, phenomenologist, a Catholic and finally a Carmelite nun. On a visit to a friend’s house, she found the autobiography of St. Teresa of Jesus, which she read in one night. Upon finishing the book she declared,”This is the Truth!”
In 1942, during World War II, because of her Jewish heritage, she was sent to Auschwitz/Birkenau and given the number 44974. St. Teresa Benedicta died as a martyr with her sister, Rosa, in the gas chamber shortly after her arrival. The Nazis killed her because of her Jewish ancestry and her Christian faith. She was canonized as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross in 1998 and made co-patroness of Europ in 1999. Her Feast Day is August 9th.