Edith Stein, another martyr of the Holocaust, was an unlikely Carmelite. She grew up in an observant Jewish family in Wroclaw, Poland, but during her college years she could not believe in a personal God and called herself an atheist. Her studies included philosophy, psychology, and medieval Christian writers. She also read St. Teresa of Avila’s autobiography, which touched her deeply. In 1922, she was baptized in St. Martin Church, Bergzabern. In 1933, she joined the Carmel of Cologne and took the name Teresa Benedict of the Cross. Edith and her sister, Rosa, were both killed at Auschwitz in 1942. Edith was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1999.
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