On Saturday, 4 July 1942, the Chapter nuns of Le Pâquier were assembled for a meeting at which the Reverend Mother Prioress proposed to them that Sister Teresia Benedicta of the Cross, in the world Edith Stein, a professed Sister of the Cologne Carmel who is at present in the Carmel of Echt in Holland, be received as a member of the community, either permanently or temporarily according to circumstances.
In 1938, because of her Jewishness, Sr. Benedicta was forced to leave the Carmel where she had made her profession. The German authorities who have conquered Holland are now compelling her to leave that country. The Sister in question has obtained the necessary permission for her transfer from the Most Reverend Father Provincial in Holland; our Most Reverend Bishop has agreed to her reception into our Carmel, and a petition has been made to our Most Reverend Father General for the Indult.
On the fifth of the same month, a Sunday, the nuns were assembled once again and the Reverend Mother Prioress made the same proposal, after which it was unanimously resolved by a secret vote to receive Sister Teresa Benedicta into the community for an unlimited time.
We, the undersigned, testify that the above account is exact,
Sr. Marie Agnès of the Immaculate Conception, Prioress;
Sr. Marie-Françoise of the Most Sacred Heart, 1st Key-Bearer
Executed on 5 July 1942, at Le Pâquier
On New Year’s Eve, 1941, Saint Edith Stein wrote to a mutual friend in Switzerland to see if she could help to find a place for Rosa Stein, assuming that Edith would be accepted to transfer to the Carmel of Le Pâquier.
This is a record of the 5 July vote by the Chapter nuns of the Carmel of Le Pâquier in Switzerland to receive Edith as a member of their community. Their prioress shared the news of their unanimous approval in a 17 July letter to Mother Antonia, the prioress of the Carmel of Echt, Holland.
We have an excerpt from Edith’s thank-you letter to the Carmel of Le Pâquier. With these links, you can explore the website of the Carmel of Le Pâquier in French and German and their Facebook page in French.
Tucked away in the mountains of Fribourg, the Carmel of Le Pâquier was the first community of Discalced Carmelite nuns in Switzerland, founded in Lully in 1921. In 1936, Mother Marie Agnès de Wolf oversaw the construction of a new monastery in Le Pâquier, to which the growing community transferred. | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites
Posselt, T 2005, Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite, translated from the German by Batzdorff S, Koeppel J, and Sullivan J, ICS Publications, Washington DC.