Jumping ahead a few days, liturgically speaking, we will soon celebrate the feast of St Edith Stein (Teresa Benedicta of the Cross). In Europe, this celebration has the rank of Feast, since Edith Stein is one of the patron saints of Europe. There are some testimonies about Edith that reflect the theme of the Day for Life.
During the years immediately following her baptism into the Catholic Church, Edith Stein taught at the convent of the Domincian sisters in Speyer. One of her students at the time wrote of her:
With very few words - just by her personality and everything which emanated from her - she set me on my way, not only in my studies but in my whole moral life. With her you felt that you were in an atmosphere of everything noble, pure and sublime which simply carried you up with it.It was after the rise of the Nazi's to power that Edith Stein was finally able to enter the Carmelite convent at Cologne. Her closest friend, Hedwig Conrad-Martius, described a meeting in the convent parlour with Edith after one year of the noviciate:
...the spirit of childhood, the spontaneous joy and the sense of being in safety that she had now acquired was, if I can speak thus, an enchantment. The marvellous double meaning of the word grace - free gift and charm - were here united.Hedwig Conrad-Martius also provides my third testimony, commenting on the photograph taken of Edith just before she left the Carmel in Cologne to travel across the border to join the community at Echt in Holland. Hedwig observes how the photograph taken of Edith just before she left for Holland shows her previously innocent and joyful character completely disfigured by suffering.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer .