The 26th of July of this year, 2012, will be the 70th anniversary of the martyrdom of Blessed Titus Brandsma. His life was an example of a very close relationship between a mystical life and a firm commitment in the world to the dignity of the human person. He was noted for his readiness to receive anyone in difficulty and to help in whatever way he could.
In the period leading up to and during the Nazi occupation in Holland, he argued passionately against the National Socialist ideology, basing his stand on the Gospels, and he defended the right to freedom, in education and for the Catholic Press. This led to his imprisonment. So began his Calvary, which brought him great personal suffering and degradation whilst, at the same time, he himself brought solace and comfort to the other internees and begged God's blessing on his jailers. In the midst of such inhuman suffering, he possessed the precious ability to bring an awareness of goodness, love and peace. He passed from one prison or camp to another until finally he arrived in Dachau where he was killed on 26th July 1942. He was beatified as a martyr by Pope John Paul II on the 3rd of November, 1985.