Bl. Titus Brandsma – (1881-1942)
Priest and Martyr
Born in the Frisian city of Bolsward (The Netherlands), February 23rd in 1881, Bl. Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelites while still young and was ordained priest in 1905. He undertook further studies in Rome and was awarded a doctorate in philosophy at the Gregorian Pontifical University. Returning to Holland, he then taught in various schools in Holland and was named Professor of Philosophy and of the History of Mysticism in the Catholic University of Nijmegen, where he also served as Rector Magnificus. He was noted for his constant availability to everyone and to help in any way that he could.
He was a professional journalist, and in 1935 he was appointed ecclesiastical advisor to the bishops for Catholic journalists. Both before and during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands he fought, faithful to the Gospel, against the spread of National Socialist ideology and for the freedom of Catholic education and of the Catholic press. As a result, he was arrested and sent to a succession of prisons and concentration camps where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners and begged God’s mercy for his tormentors; on July 26th, 1942, after much suffering and humiliation, he was killed by lethal injection at Dachau concentration camp in Bavaria, Germany.
He was beatified as a martyr by Pope John Paul II on November 3rd, 1985.
Last content update 07/03/09