Jesuit Cardinal Michael Czerny was born in Czechoslovakia; his grandmother died in Auschwitz.
Cardinal Michael Czerny SJ, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, celebrated Mass at the Carmelite Monastery in Auschwitz on this 80th anniversary of St. Edith Stein’s death.
This August 9 feast day marks the 80th anniversary of the death of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who was killed at Auschwitz in 1942.
“With Edith Stein, I share Jewish origins, the Catholic faith, a vocation to religious life, and several coincidences with my maternal grandmother, Anna Hayek née Löw (1893-1945). They were about the same age and came to a similar end,” the cardinal said.
Michael Czerny was born on July 18, 1946, in Brno, Czechoslovakia (today the Czech Republic). When he was only two years old, his parents emigrated to Canada with him and his younger brother—a baby just a few months old—in the face of the threat of Communist totalitarianism.