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SAINT TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS 1891 – 1942 Canonised 1998
Her Feast Day August 9
Edith was born in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) on October 12 1891. She was the youngest of seven surviving children. Her father died before she was two and her mother took on his lumber business. The family were Jewish and Edith was always special to her mother because she was born on the Day of Atonement.
From a young age Edith had a great thirst for knowledge and she excelled in her studies, so everyone was surprised when she announced that she was leaving school at the age of 14. She went to help a married sister and while there she decided quite deliberately to stop praying. Domestic life did not really appeal to Edith and it wasn’t long before she decided to return to school. On leaving she studied psychology at Breslau University, hoping that this would reveal the meaning of life to her but she was disappointed; instead she discovered a new discipline, that of phenomenology, recently developed by Edmund Husserl, a professor at the University of Göttingen.