Greenbelt Interfaith News
    World Brief

    June 1, 1997

    Pope Names New Saint

    A two-year-old Boston girl's surprising recovery from a Tylenol overdose has resulted in a new saint for the Roman Catholic Church. In 1987, Benedicta McCarthy nearly died after she swallowed a large dose of pain relievers, causing her liver and kidneys to come close to failing. Benedicta's parents turned for help to the woman for whom their daughter was named: Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a Jewish-born nun who died at Auschwitz in 1942. Benedicta's parents and a number of other people prayed to Sister Teresa, and the toddler recovered.

    Because of this event, John Paul II announced on May 22 that the nun, better known as Edith Stein, would be canonized. Some Jews had criticized the movement to make Sister Teresa a saint, saying that she was killed by the Nazis because she was of Jewish birth, not because she was Catholic. According to The Washington Post, though, Benedicta's father believes that it is especially appropriate that the nun be made a saint. "Stein is a magnifying glass," said the Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, who is a priest in the Melkite Rite of the Catholic Church, which allows priests to marry. "She received the hate, the oppression and, in the end, the killing that Jews have received for 1,700 years at the hands of Christians."

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson