If we live with the Church, the Advent bells and hymns will stir a holy longing in our heart…Saint Edith Stein
The Mystery of Christmas
Saint Edith Stein biographer Sr. Teresia Renata Posselt, O.C.D.—Edith’s former prioress in the Carmel of Cologne—writes of the Saint’s experiences as a member of the faculty of the German Institute for Scientific Pedagogy at Münster, a position she accepted in early 1932. She resided at the Collegium Marianum in Münster.
Sr. Teresia Renata tells us that Edith took her meals with the students and made a deep impression on all she met, “basing her way of life, as always, on simplicity. (…) She would be the first in the chapel… her life was all prayer and work.” (Posselt 2005, p. 102)
One of Edith’s students shared a personal anecdote concerning Nikolaustag, the typical German celebration of the feast day of St. Nicholas that forms a significant part of German culture during the Advent season.
Sr. Teresia Renata includes this lovely story in her biography, which testifies to the personal warmth and affection that Edith Stein bore not only for her students but also in later years for her sisters in Carmel.
Her personality had a much stronger effect in a small group. She loved to join in our small parties and celebrations in the house and at the students’ association. In the winter of 1932 we had a celebration for St. Nicholas. After a visit by St. Nicholas, played by one of us, we sat down together in our common room in front of a plate and an innocent glass of punch. She had put a small card of the Immaculate Conception from Beuron beside each plate. It was December 8th. We sang Advent songs, and she was just like one of us. (Posselt 2005, p. 104)
Sister Teresia Renata Posselt, O.C.D.
Chapter 12, Lecturer in Münster
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.