St Titus Brandsma - Carmelite and Martyr

Professor Brandsma at work Dachau Concentration Camp Prayer before an image of Christ O Jesus, when I gaze on You Once more alive, that I love You And that your heart loves me too Moreover as your special friend. Although that calls me to suffer more Oh, for me all suffering is good, For in this way I resemble You And this is the way to Your Kingdom. I am blissful in my suffering For I know it no more as sorrow But the most ultimate elected lot That unites me with You, O God. O, just leave me here silently alone, The chill and cold around me And let no people be with me Here alone I grow not weary. For Thou, O Jesus, art with me I have never been so close to You. Stay with me, with me, Jesus sweet, Your presence makes all things good for me. Written by Titus Brandsma on 12-13 February 1942 while a prisoner at Scheveningen. Translation: Susan Verkerk-Wheatley / Anne-Marie Bos © Titus Brandsma Instituut 2018 SAINT TITUS BRANDSMA Journalism Titus also cultivated his interest in journalism and publishing. In late 1935 he became the National Spiritual Adviser to the Union of Catholic Journalists. In this role, he encouraged opposition to the publication of Nazi propaganda in Catholic newspapers and in the Press generally. He was especially critical of its anti-Semitism. When the Nazis invaded Holland in May 1940, Titus was an adviser to the Archbishop of Utrecht. He encouraged the bishops to speak out against the persecution of the Jews and the infringement of human rights generally by the occupiers. In doing so, he became a marked man by the authorities. Arrest and Martyrdom The refusal by Catholic newspapers to print Nazi propaganda sealed the fate of Titus. Titus had agreed to deliver personally to each editor a letter from the Catholic bishops. This letter instructed the editors not to comply with a new law requiring them to print official Nazi advertisements and articles. Titus had visited fourteen editors before being arrested by the Gestapo at Nijmegen on 19 January 1942. Titus was interned at Scheveningen and Amersfoort in Holland before being transported to Dachau in June. Under the harsh regime there, his health quickly deteriorated and he was in the camp hospital by the third week of July. He was subjected to biological experimentation before being killed by lethal injection on 26 July 1942. On the day he died, the Dutch Bishops issued a pastoral letter protesting strongly against the deportation of Jews from Holland. Before his execution, Titus had prayed that God might help the nurse who would administer the injection to repent of her actions in the camp. He also gave her his rosary beads, although she protested that she was a lapsed Catholic. Some years later, that same woman came to a Carmelite priory seeking forgiveness and was a witness in the process for his beatification, which took place in Rome on 3 November 1985. 9