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Rome Reports

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St. Titus Brandsma, a priest, journalist, and anti-Nazi champion

St. Titus Brandsma was a Carmelite priest, journalist, and anti-Nazi champion from the Netherlands. 

During his life, Titus remained a fierce advocate for a free press, and served as a liaison between the media and the Dutch bishops after the Third Reich invaded the Netherlands in 1940. 

Vice-postulator for the cause of sainthood

It fell to him to go to the different Catholic newspapers to tell them that they could not publish Nazi propaganda, and that if they published it then they wouldn't be considered Catholic anymore.

As a result, Titus was arrested by the Gestapo and taken to various prisons before ultimately being killed by lethal injection in the concentration camp at Dachau. 

Yet before becoming a martyr of the faith, those imprisoned alongside Titus recognized his virtue and knew that he should someday be declared a saint.

Vice-postulator for the cause of sainthood
Sometimes, it is difficult to find testimonies, but in the case of Fr. Titus he has a reputation of sanctity from the start. His fellow prisoners, those who were with him, the survivors of Dachau, wrote a letter asking to begin his cause for beatification.

That reputation eventually spread to Fr. Michael Driscoll, the Carmelite friar from New York who received the miracle that advanced Titus' cause for canonization. 

He had developed a devotion to Titus after learning about him in minor seminary from a Carmelite priest who knew the martyr personally, which made him a natural person to turn to after doctors told him he had advanced melanoma in his head. 

Miracle recipient
All the oncologists said “you have a very, very, very, serious cancer,” so that put the fear and trembling into you.

When I got this cancer people told me pray to Fr. Titus. We need one miracle, and that's how it started.

After being operated on, Fr. Driscoll says doctors expected the cancer to return and to take his life along with it. But for years the doctors kept waiting, and he kept praying. The healing was declared definitive, and eventually, the miracle that officially ushered Titus into the community of saints.