Portrait of Edith Stein in the student chapel of the Hochschulgemeinde Wien im Edith-Stein-Haus | photo by Braveheart

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

August 9. The story of Edith Stein begins with her life as a noted philosopher raised in the Jewish faith. Edith ended her life story as a Catholic Carmelite nun with the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz in 1942. A complicated story involving two faiths and many political events which swirled around her. She who was born Edith Stein is now known as Saint Teresa Benedicta.

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Saint Lawrence | Bernardo Cavallino

Saint Lawrence

August 10. Devotion to Saint Lawrence dates back to the earliest days of the Church. While we do not know many facts about him, his courageous witness to the faith is well known, as well as some interesting legends which, as legends, may or may not be true. They show the fascination with Saint Lawrence and his testimony to the faith.

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Saint Clare | Monastery of Saint Clare, Cincinnati, OH

Saint Clare of Assisi

August 11. Saint Clare referred to herself as a little plant. In many ways, she was a strong oak. The first woman to write a Rule of Life for her sisters, she insisted on the privilege of poverty until her dying breath, getting papal approval of her Rule just days before she died. A model of humility, Clare cared for her sisters even through her own years of illness. Her devotion to Jesus was extraordinary.

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Stained glass window in Église Saint-Honoré-d'Eylau, Paris | photo by Mbzt's

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

August 12. Saint Jane Frances de Chantal was a wife and the mother of six. When her husband was killed, Saint Jane took a vow not to remarry and sought to join a religious community. She was dissuaded by her spiritual director, Saint Francis de Sales. Eventually, she and two others founded a community intended for those who could not join the established congregations. They wanted to actively engage in the works of mercy, but social circumstances forced them to live a cloistered life.

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Image: Photo of Il Tempio Civico della Beata Vergine Incoronata | photo by Giovanni Novara

Saints Pontian and Hippolytus

August 13. Today we celebrate two men who were at odds most of their lives. Saint Pontian was a pope who abdicated his office when he was sent into exile. Saint Hippolytus had himself elected an anti-pope and opposed not only Saint Pontian, but others as well. Eventually, these two were exiled together where they reconciled and became good friends.

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Stained glass in Our Lady of Czestochowa Grotto (Sorrowful Mother Shrine) | photo by Nheyob

Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe

August 14. Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, a Conventual Franciscan, is best known for volunteering to take the place of a condemned prisoner in the death camp. But he also worked tirelessly for the spiritual welfare of people through a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. His whole life seemed to revolve around Mary as the path to God.

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Detail | Ceiling of the Assumption of Mary in Santa Maria Immacolata a via Veneto, Rome | photo by Livioandronico

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

August 15. The doctrine of the Assumption of Mary is recent: 1950. But the belief among the faithful that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven at the time of her death dates to the early Church. Mary is also the summation of all Christians—what happened to her, will happen to us. Thus, she is the testimony of our own resurrection at the end of time.

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Saint Stephen of Hungary

Saint Stephen of Hungary

August 16. Saint Stephen was both a king and a Christian. So, he embodied both the civil and the religious aspects of life in his person. Saint Stephen expressed those aspects in the best way he knew how according to his culture and period of history. He serves as proof that the faith is definitely rooted in the persons who believe.

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Wooden statue of Saint Joan of the Cross | A l’école des soeurs de Jeanne Delanoue | unknown

Saint Joan of the Cross

August 17. Transformed from greedy and surly businesswoman to saint is the story of Saint Joan of the Cross. Her conversion is credited to an elderly woman whom most people thought was crazy, but who reached Saint Joan’s heart. Saint Joan of the Cross went on to found a religious congregation and several charitable institutions.

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Saint Louis of Toulouse | unknown

Saint Louis of Toulouse

August 18. Born into royalty and headed for the throne of his father, Saint Louis of Toulouse renounced his status, became a Franciscan, and was named a bishop. It was during the years that he was held hostage and under the tutelage of the Friars, that Saint Louis began to realize his call to something other than the throne. He was known for his generosity to the poor.

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