Vatican, 06 May, 2023 / 7:27 pm (ACI Africa).
World Press Freedom Day was celebrated May 3 and the courage to get the truth out has sometimes cost the lives of Catholic journalists, among them St. Titus Brandsma, a Carmelite priest whose efforts cost him his life at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Brandsma (1881–1942), a native of the Netherlands, was a great devotee of St. Teresa of Jesus who reformed the Carmelite Order and wrote a great deal about her.
The Dicastery for the Causes of Saints states that St. Titus founded the magazine Roses of Carmel (Karmelrosen, later changed to Speling) and became chief editor of the newspaper De Stad Oss (The City of Oss). In 1935 he was appointed national spiritual adviser to the staff of more than 30 Catholic newspapers in the Netherlands and obtained his international journalist card.
After the Nazi invasion of Holland, the Catholic press in the area was forced to publish the regime’s advertisements and press releases that were opposed to the faith. The priest then went by train to visit Catholic newspapers to convey to them the directives of the Dutch bishops against the perverse dictatorship and to encourage them to resist the Nazis.
However, he was arrested and taken to the Amersfoort penal camp, where he was made to work in inhumane conditions. Later, he ended up in Dachau, the terrifying concentration camp in Germany, where the regime carried out experiments on prisoners, including Brandsma. In the end, he was killed with a lethal injection of carbolic acid.