St. Titus Bradsma–Carmelite Friar and Anti-Nazi Martyr

St. Titus Bradsma–Carmelite Friar and Anti-Nazi Martyr May 30, 2023

This piece today is about another Catholic Anti-Nazi Martyr, Father Titus Bradsma.  I am using Encyclopedia Brittanica, writings from The Titus Bradsma Institute, and a video from The Irish Province of Carmelites after my introduction in the next two paragraphs.  I will use variations of these throughout the next month of writings.

Over Pride Month in June, I will dedicate my writings to remembering the Holocaust because we are experiencing a repeat and resurfacing of right-winged fascist history right now in different parts of the world, including parts of the United States. LGBTQIA+ families were executed during the Holocaust right along with Jewish people and other groups for “not fitting the perfect mold” and being portrayed as “less than” when the Catholic Church teaches that each person is equally-sacred and equally-created in God’s image. Do these Nazi attitudes and actions sound familiar today? History does tend to repeat itself.

According to history, openly opposing the Nazi army was not possible as it is becoming more and more difficult to oppose the current-day fascist threats. The Catholic Church had both those who secretly opposed Nazism and helped aid in escape of Jewish people and other oppressed groups while other Catholic leaders were complicit with Nazism. However, there were notable Catholic networks to rescue Jews and those in danger. Many Catholics were actually sent to concentration camps for aiding in the rescue of Jewish people and other oppressed groups. Hugh O’Flaherty’s “Rome Escape Line”, the Assisi Network, and Poland’s Żegota were three of the more notable rescue missions.

Father Titus Bradsma was the spiritual advisor to a body of Catholic journalists. He regularly spoke out against Nazism, wrote, and supervised publications about the evils of Nazi ideology.  He also held a Doctorate of Philosophy and served as a priest, journalist, and professor. The Nazi party ordered Titus Bradsma to dismiss Jewish students from Catholic schools, which he had the authority to do, but he refused.

After the Invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, his long-standing opposition to the Nazis, venomous opposition to right-winged propaganda, and support of Free Press, he was finally arrested, sent to various prisons, and then sent to Dachau Concentration Camp as his final destination where he died by lethal injection.

The video below speaks of his deep relationship growth with God while he was in prison. The video goes into great deal as how the isolation of prison brought him closer to God.  The video also shows a rosary made as a gift by another prison inmate.

I have copied a video about the life of Titus Brandsma here from the Carmelites of Ireland.

In writing this piece and other similar pieces over Pride Month in June, I also confess that I am trying to reclaim my Catholic faith and love for the Church.  My faith and love for the Church have been damaged due to the threat of fascism from within and outside the Church and for openly opposing the current-day fascist threats from within and outside the Church, like through trans advocacy.  The attempt to focus on what is good about the Church verses what has hurt others and my family is the direction I deliberately choose to take thanks to a number of good Catholic friends. I just can no longer exist in a combative state of pain and negativity while also regaining my love for Christ and His Church. I so desperately want the latter, so I am shifting my focus on the ways I mentioned.

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