Edith Stein was a German Jewess who descended to the intellectual heights of atheism, was converted to Roman Catholicism and as a Discalced Carmelite nun ascended to Mount Carmel to the crystal peaks of mysticism. Her life on earth ended in the gas chambers of a Nazi concentration camp – which she entered unresisting as an oblation for her race. Spiritually a giant, in body she was small and frail and insignificant: at first meeting she often disappointed those who had known her only by her fame as a major contemporary philosopher. She will also be known as a very great Discalced Carmelite, but most of all, perhaps, she will be known as a Saint for converts.
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