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Blessed Titus Brandsma

27 July 2019

(Optional Memory)

Born in Bolsward (The Netherlands) in 1881, Blessed Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelite Order as a young man. Ordained a priest in 1905, he earned 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 was appointed ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists. Both before and during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, remaining faithful to the Gospel, he fought against the spread of 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 humiliation, he was killed in Dachau, Germany. He was beatified by John Paul II on November 3, 1985.