Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Icon of St. Theresia Benedikta of the Cross

My friend Br. Claude Lane, OSB just finished another beautiful icon. Here is what he has to say about the icon:

The image is based on the prototype icon of St. Catherine of Alexandria, as found in the monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai. Patron of philosophers, St. Catherine is depicted seated-- as befits the teacher. St. Catherine is shown surrounded by books and the instruments of learning (globe, stylus, etc.) as well as the famous "Catherine wheel", the spiked instrument of her martyrdom. In our icon, St. Edith Stein, Sr. Theresia Benedikta a Cruce in religion, is seen holding her most famous and important work-- The Science of the Cross. At her feet on the left is the the Autobiography of St Teresa, that, after having read it, Stein said "This is the Truth", at which point she converted from Judaism to Catholicism. Behind her is the famous Kaiserdom, the Cathedral of the Holy Roman Emperors at Speyer-- a symbol of the heights of German spirituality and culture. Just below that, however, are buildings representing the barracks at Auschwitz where St. Edith died in August, 1942. The Star of David indicates her desire to identify with her people in their sufferings. The blue "double reflection" on her habit is a reference to the Carmelite order being especially dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
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