Today is the feast of Blessed Titus Brandsma, Carmelite friar, educator, journalist and scholar. He was murdered by lethal injection, as part of a programme of medical experimentation, in Dachau on 26 July 1942. His crime – he opposed Nazi ideology. He was arrested after delivering a letter from the Conference of Dutch Bishops to the editors of Catholic newspapers; the letter prohibited the publication of Nazi propaganda.
Wiki tells us that Brandsma combined the following characteristics: “some vanity, a short tempered character, extreme energy, political simpleness, true charity, unpretentious piety, thorough decisiveness and great personal courage.” So, he was human. Like the rest of us.
Yesterday we saw the martyrdom of an old and faithful priest, Père Jacques Hamel, whilst he was saying Mass in his church in France. I could not really print what I think of his murderers. I turn to another quote from Titus Brandsma, who lived in such dark and uncertain times:
“Do not yield to hatred. We are here in a dark tunnel, but we have to go on. At the end, an eternal light is shining for us.”