Blessed Titus Brandsma, Priest and Martyr

July 27: Celebrated as a Memorial with proper texts or from the Common of One Martyr.

Born at Bolsward (The Netherlands) in 1881, Blessed Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelite Order as a young man. Ordained priest in 1905, he obtained a doctorate in philosophy in Rome. 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. He was a professional journalist, and in 1935 he was appointed ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists. During the 1930s he visited Ireland and stayed in Kinsale with the Carmelite Community there to improve his English before giving a series of lectures in the United States. Both before and during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands he fought, faithful to the Gospel, against the spread of the Nazi ideology and for the freedom of Catholic education and the Catholic press. For this he was arrested and sent to a succession of prisons and concentration camps where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners and did good even to his tormentors. In 1942, after much suffering and humiliations he was killed at Dachau. He was beatified by John Paul II on November 3rd 1985.


Prayer
God our Father,
source of life and freedom,
through your Holy Spirit you gave the Carmelite Titus Brandsma
the courage to affirm human dignity even in the midst of suffering and degrading persecution.
Grant us that same Spirit,
so that, refusing all compromise with error,
we may always and everywhere give coherent witness
to your abiding presence among us.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.


Scripture Readings
2Timothy 2:3-13; Gospel Luke 6:27-36.


Texts taken from the “Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours,” Institutum Carmelitanum, Rome: 1993.


Images courtesy of the Carmelnet webmaster, U.S.A.


The Titus Brandsma Institute, Nijmegan, The Netherlands.