Vatican cardinal honors newly transformed Jew and tells his tale

ROME (AP). The Vatican Cardinal on Tuesday marked the eightieth anniversary of the homicide of Jewish Catholic convert Edith Stein within the gasoline chamber through conserving a Mass close to the previous dying camp of Auschwitz and recounting the tale of his circle of relatives’s Jewish origins and their destiny. underneath the Nazis.

Michael Czerny is among the cardinals maximum intently related to the preach of Pope Francis. A Jesuit who served in El Salvador, Czerny leads the Vatican place of work answerable for Francis’ precedence portfolios within the fields of migration, surroundings, construction and social justice. Czech-born Canadian Czerny not too long ago joined Francis on his landmark consult with to Canada to make an apology to indigenous other people for the function of the Catholic Church in working the rustic’s notorious boarding faculties.

On Tuesday, Czerny marked the anniversary of the day Stein was once killed within the Auschwitz gasoline chambers through celebrating Mass at a close-by Carmelite monastery in Auschwitz, a Polish town occupied through Nazi Germany all the way through the struggle. There he gave a sermon through which he informed the tale of Stein and the way it intersected along with his personal and the historical past of his kin, who had been at first from Brno, within the former Czechoslovakia.

Stein was once a German Jewish girl born in 1891 in Breslau, now the Polish town of Wroclaw, who transformed to Catholicism in 1922 and turned into a nun. She joined the Carmelite Order in Cologne, Germany, however was once transferred to the Netherlands after the Nazi assaults intensified in 1938. She was once arrested in 1942 after Hitler ordered the arrest of Jewish converts and was once despatched to Auschwitz the place she was once killed in August 1942. On September 9, 1942, St. John Paul II canonized Stein as a martyr in 1998, and made her the patroness of Europe the next yr.

Czerny, 76, famous that he and Stein shared “Jewish ancestry, a Catholic religion, a vocation to a non secular lifestyles,” and the truth that Stein and Czerny’s maternal grandmother, Anna Hayek, was once about the similar age and “got here to a an identical age.” the top”.

“My mom’s circle of relatives—each folks and two brothers—had been additionally Catholics, however shared a Jewish background that the enemy hated,” Czerny recalled in a sermon supplied through his place of work. “My maternal grandmother Anna, my grandfather Hans and my uncles Georg and Carl Robert had been interned in Theresienstadt, the place Hans died,” Czerny stated, relating to the Theresienstadt focus camp in former Czechoslovakia.

“My grandmother and uncle had been taken to Auschwitz. From right here, my uncles had been despatched to exertions camps and ultimately killed there,” he stated.

His grandmother died of typhus in 1945, however the circle of relatives does now not know the place she was once buried.

Czerny’s mom, a baptized Catholic, was once pressured to paintings on a farm all the way through the struggle because of her Jewish heritage and was once imprisoned in Theresienstadt and Leipzig for 20 months; his father was once pressured to paintings on a farm as a result of he refused to divorce her. In keeping with the cardinal, in 1948 they moved to Canada as refugees with younger Michael, born in 1946, and his brother.

Czerny, who made humanitarian visits on behalf of Francis to the minister for refugees fleeing Ukraine, stated he was once commemorated to honor Stein’s reminiscence within the yr of the Russian struggle, which he says “calls us to bear in mind.”

“Remembering each Edith and Anna, in conjunction with six million others, we mourn and repent, “in order to not put out of your mind …,” he stated. “Via their intercession, we pray for peace in Ukraine and all over the arena.”

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