Mass planned at Auschwitz for Edith Stein anniversary

 The 60th anniversary of the death of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Edith Stein, will be commemorated at Auschwitz, (Oswiecim), Poland, on 9 August. The event will include ecumenical prayer for the Holy Land. The event is being organised jointly by the Archdiocese of Krakow, the Diocese of Bielsko- Zywiec, and the Carmelite Province of Krakow, the web page of religious communities reports. Cardinals Jean-Marie Lustiger of Paris, Joachim Meisner of Cologne, Friedrich Wetter of Munich and Henryk Roman Gulbinowicz of Wroclaw, and other Polish and German bishops, have been invited to attend. "The celebration will include Mass in the monastery of the Carmelite Sisters of Auschwitz and ecumenical prayer in the field of Birkenau," Fr Camilo Maccise, general of the Discalced Carmelites, wrote in a letter to the Carmelite and Teresian Family. Fr Camilio said: "I wish to invite everyone, and especially our contemplative Carmelite Sisters, to join the prayer of this day. A particular intention should be that of imploring the Lord through the intercession of Edith Stein, daughter of the people of Israel, for peace in the Holy Land, still racked by struggles, hatred and division... On the 60th anniversary of the death of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, our prayer takes on an ecumenical dimension, to help religions become sources of peace and reconciliation in the world." Edith Stein was born in Breslau, Germany (today's Wroclaw, Poland), on 12 October, 1891. She was the youngest of 11 children born to a Jewish family. After converting to Catholicism she entered the Carmel. She died in a Nazi gas chamber at Auschwitz, on 9 August 1942. John Paul II beatified her in Cologne on 1 May 1987. He canonised Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, and named her co-patroness of Europe, on 11 October 1998, at St. Peter's. Her feast day is 9 August.

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