Quote of the day, 19 June: Blessed Titus Brandsma

The heavy chancel bell chimes. An acolyte, a young student friar, who is preparing himself for the Holy priesthood, steps out of the Sacristy with the thurible in hand. Two others follow, carrying lighted candles on high in silver and copper candlesticks. After them the Priest follows in his cope. The organ resounds with festive tones. People sense, and the organist knows, that this evening is a special act of Benediction. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed for worship. Clouds of incense circle upwards, permeating the air. Everything in the church venerates the hidden God. The rhythmic sounds of the always beautiful Adoro Te devote already resound along the vaults and arches. Two cantors in the Choir have begun, and sing the stanzas. The organ falls nearly silent so that the words can be heard. But after every stanza the choir of the Friars joins in with the full accompaniment of the organ: Ave Jesu, Pastor fidelium, adauge fidem omnium in Te credentium, (Hail Jesus, shepherd of those who believe, increase the belief of all those who have faith in you). Then the Priest chants the customary prayer in honour of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altars.

It is a practice in honour of Mary, but the salutation to Jesus, the adoration of her divine Son, should be the beginning and end of all homage to Mary, going hand-in-hand with all the veneration of Mary. It is therefore also a Benediction which the Carmelites keep, in order to express and symbolise their special veneration of Mary, a Benediction of which the Adoro Te and the Tantum ergo form the beginning and end. During the whole practice, from the repositorium Jesus assists as the Supreme High Priest, the devout prayers and hymns to the glory of his Beloved Mother.

Blessed Titus Brandsma

Saturday evening in the church of the Carmelites
Carmelrozen, Vol. IV, August 1915, p. 93-96

On 13 June 1942 Blessed Titus Brandsma continued the final portion of his itinerary, traveling from Kleve Prison to Dachau Concentration Camp. A judge declared that he “sought to protect Christianity from National-Socialism.” Brandsma arrived in Dachau on 19 June 1942; he died there 26 July 1942. Learn more about the key moments in the life of Blessed Titus Brandma.

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