On 15 May last, Saint Titus Brandsma was canonised in Rome by His Holiness Pope Francis. The new saint, described as a saint for the 20th century, was killed “in hatred of the faith” in the Dachau concentration camp in 1942, refused to publish propaganda and was outspoken and opposed to anti-Jewish laws being promulgated by the Nazis. For most of his life he was at the centre of a Symposium organized by the International Association of Journalists Accredited to the Vatican (AIGAV) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands to the Holy See.
Welcoming the canonisation the Prior of Whitefriar Street, Father Simon Nolan, O.Carm., said, “I was present in Saint Peter’s Square, Rome, for the canonisation [on DATE] which was a faith enriching experience. It was wonderful to reflect on the deep connection that Saint Titus had with our Whitefriar Street Church, which is beloved of many Dubliners. At Whitefriar Street we feel a real closeness with the new saint. Saint Titus stayed on three occasions in 1935 here with the Carmelite community. He celebrated Mass in our church, and even sent a postcard to his sister with a photograph of the famous Calvary scene in our entrance hall, which is familiar to generations of people who come to pray here.
“Saint Titus travelled around Ireland, staying at the Carmelite Friary in Kinsale, Co Cork, and, as far as we know, visiting Carmelite houses at Terenure College, Knocktopher, Co Kilkenny, White Abbey, Co Kildare, and Moate, Co Westmeath. Indeed, after his return to the Netherlands, Saint Titus spoke about how deeply moved he was by the death of an eight-year-old girl from appendicitis at a hospital he visited in Mullingar.”
“While staying with his Carmelite brothers at Whitefriar Street, Saint Titus had the opportunity of visiting the then President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State, Mr Eamon De Valera, at Government Buildings,” Father Nolan said.