A voice from the past

69 years after his death, Blessed Titus Brandsma has a Twitter account. He may be followed via PaterTitus42 (in Dutch) or FatherTitus42 (English).

But what can the beatified Carmelite priest, who worked closely with the Dutch bishops against the Nazi restrictions of press during World War II, and who died in the Dachau concentration camp, be twittering about? Well, starting on 19 January, the day of his arrest in 1942, a Catholic Radio 5 program and the Dutch Carmelite Institute will publish daily tweets about what happened to Blessed Titus, what he did and with whom he spoke. The project will last six months, ending on 26 July, the day of his death.

The press release calls it a world premier, a form of ‘real-time history’ that has never been done on Twitter. I do think that something similar has been done before, albeit not in a Catholic context.

Blessed Titus Brandsma was beatified in 1985 and is one of the few ‘modern’ Blesseds from the Netherlands, let alone from the north. He was a born Frisian, although he worked and lived mostly in Nijmegen.

During the war and the German occupation of the Netherlands, Blessed Titus, who was a trained journalist, worked closely with the Dutch bishops, led by Cardinal Jan de Jong. Shortly before being arrested, Blessed Titus travelled across the country to convince editors of newspapers not to run pro-German adverts and articles. The occupier was none too pleased about it, and had the Carmelite priest arrested. Blessed Titus arrived in Dachau in June and was killed by lethal injection a month later.

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incaelo

I'm a 35-year-old lay Catholic from the diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden. I write about the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. I not only enjoy bringing selected developments to the attention of readers, but I also think that it is sometimes important to allow a wider audience to read about the state of the Church in the Netherlands. That's why a lot of posts about that topic will be translations of Dutch articles, episcopal writings and whatever else.

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