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Blessed Titus Brandsma (Bolswardmarker, February 23, 1881Dachaumarker July 26, 1942) was a Dutchmarker Carmelite priest and professor of philosophy. Brandsma was vehemently opposed to Nazi ideology and spoke out against it many times before the Second World War.

He was arrested in January 1942, when he tried to persuade Dutch Catholic newspapers not to print Nazi propaganda (as was required by law of the Nazi German occupiers). He had also drawn up a Pastoral Letter read in all Catholic parishes, by which the Dutch Roman Catholic bishops officially condemned the German anti-Semitic measures and the deportation of the first Jews. In the Pastoral Letter, the Dutch Bishops also outlined Nazism was incompatible with Catholicism in its core ideology.

After this Pastoral Letter, the first ca. 3,000 Jews to be deported from the Netherlands were all Jewish converts to Roman Catholicism. Brandsma was transferred in February 1942 to the concentration camp Dachaumarker on June 13, after being held prisoner in Scheveningen, Amersfoortmarker, and Clevesmarker. He died on July 26, 1942, by a lethal injection administered by a doctor of the Allgemeine SSmarker.

Brandsma was born at Bolswardmarker, Netherlands in 1881. He was baptized Anno Sjoerd Brandsma. He joined the Carmelites on September 17, 1898, and took the religious name Titus.

Ordained a priest in 1905, Brandsma was knowledgeable in Carmelite mysticism and was awarded a doctorate in philosophy at Rome in 1909. He then taught in various schools in the Netherlands. Among his accomplishments was a translation of the works of Saint Teresa of Ávila into Dutch.

One of the founders of the Catholic University of Nijmegen (now Radboud Universitymarker), Brandsma became a professor of philosophy and the history of mysticism at the school in 1923. He later served as Rector Magnificus. He was noted for his constant availability to everyone.

Fr. Brandsma also worked as a journalist and was the ecclesiastical adviser to Catholic journalists by 1935. It was his fight against the spread of Nazi ideology and for educational and press freedom that brought him to the attention of the Nazis.

Brandsma's documentation on Middle Dutch mysticism was the basis for the current Titus Brandsma Institute in Nijmegenmarker, dedicated to the study of spirituality.

Titus Brandsma is honored as a martyr within the Roman Catholic Church. He was beatified in November 1985 by Pope John Paul II. His Feast Day is 27 July.

In 2005, Titus Brandsma was chosen by the inhabitants of Nijmegenmarker as the greatest citizen to have lived there.


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