Edith Stein was a philosopher, writer, and convert. She was born into a large Jewish family in Germany in 1891. She lost her faith in God as a teenager and spent her young adult years looking for truth and meaning in the academic world. She studied philosophy and psychology and, after serving as a nurse in World War I, earned a doctorate degree. Upon graduation, Edith faced one of many roadblocks to her goals when she was unable to obtain a professorship because she was a woman and Jewish.
She continued to write and teach, and her search for meaning and truth led her to explore Christian faith. She spent one night reading the autobiography of St. Teresa of Ávila and after finishing it said, “This is the truth.” Edith was baptized at age 30.
As a Christian, Edith felt further called to become a religious sister, like Teresa of Ávila, and joined a Carmelite convent in 1934, where she adopted the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. In 1942, she was arrested by the Gestapo with other Jewish Christians and died in the Auschwitz gas chambers. She was canonized a saint in 1998. Stein leaves a legacy of 17 volumes of writings on a wide variety of topics including empathy, the lives of the saints, and the powerful role of women.
Toward the end of her life, Edith wrote, “My longing for truth was a single prayer.” This playlist explores Edith Stein’s search for meaning and truth — and the hope she found that guided her through the dark times.