St Titus Brandsma - Carmelite and Martyr

Prayer We ask you, Lord, that, in the imitation of Saint Titus Brandsma, we may know how to be close to you, near to the cross, and that we may always feel you near to us in our crosses, both large and small, as our Friend, our Companion on the journey, and our Redeemer. May the cross always be for us a sign of love, of generous and total surrender to the cause of life, of solidarity and compassion for all. May we always say, in all the circumstances of life, with joy and full confidence in you, Hail to the Cross, our only hope. Amen. Mary, Mother of Carmel, pray for us. Titus Brandsma, Carmelite martyr, intercede for us. SAINT TITUS BRANDSMA Via Crucis From these three influences Father Titus developed a profound sympathy for the passion of the Lord and for the cross. In addition, he wrote two commentaries on the Stations of the Cross. The rst, written in 1921, emerged in very peculiar circumstances. The Belgian expressionist painter Albert Servaes had painted a Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) somewhat unusual for the tastes of that period. It provoked a great deal of debate. Finally, the Holy Office in Rome ordered that it not be displayed in places of worship. Fr Titus told Servaes to obey the order, but, at the same time, wrote a beautiful commentary on each of the stations that was published in Opgang magazine. The second commentary was written in more dramatic circumstances, in the Scheveningen prison. It was intended to accompany the images of each of the stations in the St Boniface Chapel (Bonifatiuskapel) in Dokkum, in whose construction Fr Titus had played an important role. In this Via Crucis, there is no reflection on the fourteenth station. Perhaps he had no time to write it; or perhaps he would write with his own testimony, a few months later in hell in Dachau. There is no doubt that this deep belief encouraged and consoled the prisoner Brandsma in his personal Via Crucis, whose stations were various prisons and concentration camps. Fr Titus felt deeply united to the passion of Christ and felt that the cruci ed God was very close to his sufferings. This is how it would be presented, as much in the beautiful poem “Before a Picture of Jesus In My Cell”, as in the talk he gave to the other prisoners on Good Friday 1942 in the camp at Amersfoort. Illustration by Fr Emanuel Franco Gómez O.Carm @manuocarm Fr Titus Brandsma with Carmelites in Boxmeer 17