A Vatican cardinal marked the 80th anniversary of the gas chamber death of Edith Stein, a Jew who converted to Catholicism, on Tuesday by performing mass acts near the Auschwitz death camp and describing her own family’s Jewish origin story and their fate under the Nazis. marked.
Michael Zerny is one of the cardinals most closely associated with the Pontifical of Pope Francis. A Jesuit who worked in El Salvador, Zerny heads the Vatican Office responsible for Francis’ priorities: migration, the environment, development and social justice. Canadian-born in the Czech Republic, Czerny traveled to Canada with the Pope to apologize to the indigenous people for the Catholic Church’s role in administering the infamous boarding schools.
On Tuesday, erny marked the anniversary of Stein’s death at the Auschwitz gas chamber with a mass at a Carmelite convent in the neighboring Polish town of Owicim, occupied by Nazis during the war. In his discourse, he described Stein’s story and how he and his family intersected with Brno, which was then Czechoslovakia.
Stein was a German Jew, born in 1891 in Breslau, now the Polish city of Wrocaw, who converted to Catholicism in 1922 and became a nun. He entered the Carmelite Order in Cologne, Germany, but was transferred to the Netherlands in 1938. In 1942, when Hitler ordered the arrest of the converts, he was sent to Auschwitz, where he died on August 9, 1942. Saint John Paul II was declared a martyr in 1998 and named the patron saint of Europe.
Zerny, 76, said that he and Stein share a “common Jewish origin, Catholic faith and vocation for a religious life”, in addition to the fact that Stein and Zerny’s maternal grandmother, Anna Hayek, were approximately the same age and ” They had the same ending.”
“As we remember Edith and Anna along with the other 6 million, we mourn and regret them. So as not to be forgotten…” he said. “Through their intercession, we bring peace to Ukraine and around the world. Pray for.”