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9th August - Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
(Edith Stein)

In Europe: Feast

Edith Stein was born to a Jewish family at Breslau on 12th October, 1891. Through her passionate study of philosophy she searched after truth and found it in reading the autobiography of St Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptised a Catholic and in 1933 she entered the Carmel of Cologne where she took the name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was gassed and cremated at Auschwitz on 9th August, 1942, during the Nazi persecution and died a martyr for the Christian faith after having offered her holocaust for the people of Israel. A woman of singular intelligence and learning, she left behind a body of writing notable for its doctrinal richness and profound spirituality. She was canonised by Pope John Paul II in October 1998. He has declared her one of the patronesses of Europe and she is therefore celebrated as a feast in that continent.


Entrance Antiphon - Ps 33:18
The Lord will hear the just when they cry out; from all their afflictions he will deliver them.

Opening Prayer
Lord, God of our fathers,
you brought Saint Teresa Benedicta
to the fullness of the science of the cross
at the hour of her martyrdom.
Fill us with that same knowledge;
and, through her intercession,
allow us always to seek after you, the supreme truth,
and to remain faithful until death to the covenant of love
ratified in the blood of your Son
for the salvation of all men and women.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

A reading from the Book of Esther - Est 4, 17k; 17l-m; 17r.t
My Lord, our king, the only one.
Queen Esther took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril which had overaen her. She besought the Lord God of Israel in these words:
'My Lord, our King, the only one,
come to my help, for I am alone
and have no helper but you
and am about to take my life in my hands.
I have been taught from my earliest years, in the bosom of my family, that you, Lord, chose
Israel out of all the nations
and our ancestors out of all the people of old times
to be your heritage for ever;
and that you have treated them as you promised.
Remember, Lord; reveal yourself
in the time of our distress.
As for me, give me courage,
King of gods and master of all power.
Put persuasive words into my mouth
when I face the lion;
change his feeling into hatred for our enemy,
that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.
As for ourselves, save us by your hand,
and come to my help, for I am alone
and have no one but you, Lord'.

Responsorial Psalm - Ps: 33:2-11
R/. Taste and see that the Lod s good.

I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad. R/.

Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free. R/.

Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called; the Lord heard him
and rescued him from all his distress. R/.

The angel of the lord is encamped
around those who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
He is happy who seeks refuge in him. R/.

Revere the Lord, you his saints.
They lack nothing, those who revere him.
Strong lions suffer want and go hungry
but those who fear the Lord lack no blessing. R/.

Gospel Acclamation - cf. Ez 37,27
Alleluia, Alleluia!
I shall make my home above them;
I shall be their God,
they shall be my people.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John - Jn 4,19-24
True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.
At that time the woman of Samaria said to Jesus:
'I see you are a prophet, sir. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, while you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship'. Jesus said:
'Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You worship what you do not know;
we worship what we do know;
for salvation comes from the Jews.
But the hour will come-in fact it is here already-
when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth:
that is the kind of worshipper
the Father wants.
God is spirit,
and those who worship
must worship in spirit and truth'.

Prayer over the Gifts
receive our gifts
as you accepted the suffering and death
of Saint Teresa Benedicta
in whose honour we celebrate this eucharist.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon - Mt 16:24
If anyone wishes to come after me, he must renounce himself, take up his cross, and follow me, says the Lord.

Prayer after Communion
may the mysteries we receive
give us the spiritual courage which made
your martyr Teresa Benedicta
faithful in your service and victorious in her suffering.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.