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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

August 9th: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, patron saint of Europe

Gospel text (Mt 10,28-33): Jesus said to his apostles: «Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but have no power to kill the soul. Rather be afraid of him who can destroy both body and soul in hell (…)».

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Saint John Paul II) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today we celebrate a “young woman in search of the truth” who, thanks to the silent work of divine grace, became a saint and a martyr: she is Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, patron saint of Europe, converted and Carmelite nun. Edith Stein (1891-1942) was deported to Auschwitz for being Jewish, where she died in the gas chamber.

The love to Christ was the fire that lit his life. Long before she knew it, she was completely conquered by Him. In the beginning, his ideal was freedom. For a long time Edith Stein lived the experience of searching. Her mind never got tired of investigating, nor his heart waiting. He traveled the arduous path of philosophy with passion and, in the end, she was rewarded: she conquered the truth; Truth conquered her, actually. In fact, she discovered that the truth had a name: Jesus Christ, and from that moment the incarnate Word was everything to her.

—Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, from heaven, repeats us all the words that marked her existence: “Far be it for me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal 6: 14).