On 15th May 2022, Titus Brandsma will be canonised by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Journalist, defender of the Jews, teacher, scholar, ecumenist, speaker and promoter of Catholic education, Dutch-born Blessed Fr. Titus was marked as "The Dangerous Little Friar" by the Nazi Regime. His example is still very much relevant for all those who search for the truth in today’s turbulent world.

Fr. Titus was a vocal critic of the Nazi Regime and became known for his unyielding stance that Nazi doctrine was incompatible with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Fr. Titus was arrested on 19th January 1942 after travelling around the Netherlands on behalf of the Dutch bishops. He had visited the editors of the Catholic newspapers to encourage them to not publish Nazi propaganda and was later killed in the Dachau concentration camp. The Carmelite Order, the Church in Holland as well as the entire Carmelite Family joyfully welcome the much awaited announcement of his canonisation.

Perhaps inspired by Fr. Titus’ message of steadfastly promoting truth, two days after announcing the date of the canonisation, Pope Francis thanked the journalists covering the Ukrainian invasion. After initially thanking those who are welcoming the people fleeing the conflict, the Pope said:

"And I would also like to thank the journalists who put their lives at risk to ensure information. Thank you, brothers and sisters, for this service of yours! A service that allows us to be close to the drama of that population and allows us to evaluate the cruelty of a war. Thank you, brothers and sisters."

Blessed Titus remains a relevant and important example for us today and now, 80 years after his death and 37 since his beatification, this honourable figure can be venerated as a Saint by the entire Catholic Church.

Prayer Before an Image of Christ

Written by Titus Brandsma on February 12th-13th 1942, while a prisoner

O Jesus when I look at you,

My love for you again lights up,

And your heart moreover treasures me,

Even as a special friend of yours.

Courage and suffering are demanded,

But all suffering is good for me,

For through it I become like you,

Finding thus the Kingdom path.

I am truly fortunate in my pain,

Which I no longer sense as hurt,

For it’s more a loving plan

That makes me one with you, O God.

Oh, leave me here alone and still,

With chill and cold surrounding me,

And let no person come to me,

For being alone doesn’t weary me.

Remain then with me, Jesus

I was never so close to you,

Stay with me, Jesus, my delight,

Your presence here

makes all things good.