St Titus Brandsma - Carmelite and Martyr

SAINT TITUS BRANDSMA Prayer to Titus Brandsma God our Father, your servant, Saint Titus Brandsma, laboured zealously in your vineyard and gave his life freely because of his faith in you. Through his intercession I ask for your mercy and help. Father Titus never refused when he was asked for help by your people. In his name, I come to you with my needs ... Lord, help me always to imitate the great faith, generous love and burning zeal of Saint Titus. Glorify your servant as he strove to glorify you. Amen. Mary, Mother of Carmel, pray for us. Titus Brandsma, Carmelite martyr, intercede for us. The Journalist as Educator Titus undoubtedly saw journalism as a form of education. His accessible articles in the Catholic press were effectively ‘short courses’ of their own. Philosophy of Education For Titus it was important for the educator to respect each student individually: ‘… people are not simply all alike and do not comply with a casual construction or idea. The human being, and even the child, is in each person different in nature and it does not help us when we would like to see beyond all the differences …We must take young people as they are.’ It was important for Titus that students thought for themselves, saying to one group: ‘We do not impart philosophical knowledge to you, because you must rst and foremost develop it in yourselves … We do not ram the truth or knowledge of the truth into you, we only draw on the wondrous passion for knowledge of what is true, which lies hidden in you.’ Resourcing Education Titus was convinced of the importance of the proper resourcing of education. He also underlined the need for continuous professional development of teachers: ‘a justi ed ideal for the teacher is continuous further development … A trained teacher is a blessing.’ Titus had a particular concern for providing for children from underprivileged backgrounds: ‘Attention at school to the underprivileged child, that is where true love reveals itself.’ Care for Jewish Students Titus took a particular stand on Jewish students, refusing to remain silent when they were excluded from attending Catholic schools, even making enquiries about placing them in the care of the Carmelites in Brazil. Carmel as a School of Mysticism Titus speaks of ‘the apostolate of Carmelite mysticism’, using the image of a school. Carmelites are to teach people to pray, helping them know they have been found and loved by God. For Titus, Carmel is like a school, ‘a school of mystical life’, and insists: ‘in the spiritual life, no more than in ordinary life, can we dispense with education, with teachers and with guidance.’ Photo courtesy of Jim Forest 11