An Aquainance with Saints:

July 27th

Blessed Titus Brandsma

The Story:

      A Catholic priest who suffered greatly for Christ and his Catholic faith during the tyranny of the Nazi regime was Blessed Titus Brandsma.
     He was born with the name Anno, in Holland on February 23, 1881.  As a child

Anno Brandsma worked in his father’s dairy farm. The work, producing milk and cheese, was very difficult without modern machines. Because of this inconvenience, Anno quickly learned a good work ethic. Anno’s family was strong, close-knit, and Catholic.
     His parents encouraged their children in religious vocations, and thus sent Anno to a Franciscan school. It was evident that he learned much from the brothers, because he joined their order in 1898,
 taking Titus as his religious name. He was later ordained on June 17, 1905
Due to his love of writing and journalism, he soon became the spiritual advisor to more than thirty different Catholic newspapers. He took a stand against the Nazis and Hitler and hand delivered letters from the bishops telling the newspapers not to print anything promoting the Nazis.
Unfortunately, the Nazis soon heard about Titus’s controversial beliefs and actions and

they arrested him on January 19, 1942.  Because of his Catholic faith, the Nazis sent him to Dachau, a concentration camp known for imprisoning and torturing Catholic priest.  

     Since Titus had many health issues, among them were failing kidneys, Nazi doctors often used him as a victim for inhumane experiments at Dachau. These experiments were the cause of his rapidly failing health, and ultimately, his death. He used these times of torture to encourage priests and Catholics in the hospital ward. He also wrote letters to uplift the spirits of his fellow Catholics outside of the prison camps.
     Yet it was not long until the guards at the camp did not have a use for Titus and killed him with a lethal injection on July 26, 1942. 

     Before his death, he openly expressed his forgiveness to the Nazis, Hitler, and those who tortured and killed him in Dachau.

     Pope John Paul II beatified Titus Brandsma in November 1985.

What Can We Learn?
     Blessed Titus was able to use his talents of writing and communication to spread the word of God, even in a hostile enviroment.  Are you ready to speak about your belief in a hostile enviroment?
     Blessed Titus also gave the ultimate sacrifice – his life in martyrdom for the sake of Christ.  Are you ready to sacrifice your life?  Keep in mind that this might not be your life on earth.  It could be your social life, and your popularity.  The world despises those with courage enough to stand up for God.  Are you ready to give up your pleasure-filled life on earth in exchange with a joy-beyond-imagination life in the next world?

What We Can Pray
We can pray for courage to evanglize in times of turmoil, like Blessed Titus Brandmsa.   You can ask his intercession in this private novena prayer to Blessed Titus Brandsma:

     God our Father, your servant, Blessed Titus Brandsma, labored 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 (mention request.)
     Lord, help me always to imitate the great faith, generous love and burning zeal of Blessed Titus Brandsma. Glorify your servant as he strove to glorify you. Amen
     Mary, Mother of Carmel, pray for us.
     Blessed Titus Brandsma, Carmelite martyr, plead for us

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