Quote of the day: 31 December

The hour is past when there can’t be any turning back by the Catholic press. They would be disobedient to their archbishop and to their conscience, should they give their support to these ideas and to this movement. This instruction is not yet official. Perhaps it will not become so . . . But if that order is given, even under the threat of grave penalties such as the suspension or the suppression of a paper, the publishers and editors must categorically refuse the articles imposed. It is not possible to act otherwise. The bounds have been passed . . . The more we are united in this refusal, the stronger we shall be. ( . . . . ) I only write this declaration after mature reflection, after discussion with various people in authority, and with his excellency the Archbishop . . . It will be very hard for many of you who will be losing your daily bread. Only those who try and force your consciences will bear the responsibility . . . I do not yet dare to think that they will go as far as that, but if they do, God will have the last word and will reward the faithful servant.

Blessed Titus Brandsma

31 December 1941
Message to the Catholic Press

 

Brandsma working at desk Blogfeatimage
Blessed Titus Brandsma | Credit: the Carmelites

 

On 31 December 1941 Blessed Titus Brandsma issued a message to all Catholic journalists and periodicals in the Netherlands urging and instructing them to resist the National Socialists’ efforts to impose the publication of party advertisements or articles in Catholic newspapers or periodicals—to openly resist “these ideas” and “this movement”. It was effective and carried a great price: on Monday 19 January 1942, Titus Brandsma was arrested.

Quote of the day: 21 July

Over time, few devotions have been so extensively promoted as the devotion to the Holy Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

It is so intimately connected with the life of the Catholic, that it provokes more attention when particular Catholics do not practice it, than when it is visibly part of their life.

In 1595, however, Mag. Joseph Falcone published a work on the history of the Order, in which as a contemporary he declared that this devotion blossomed, especially in Spain, and that there was no house where people did not wear the garment of Carmel, indeed, through the common wearing of that garment, the whole of Spain and Portugal could be said to be one great cloister of Carmelites.

For a long time, people believed that when it came to the Netherlands, any indication that the Scapular was also worn here was missed.

Admittedly, not many traces of this devotion have remained but, all the same, they do tell us that the Netherlands did not trail behind other countries.

We possess a poem by a layperson, from the end of the fifteenth-century, which sings the praises of the Scapular.

The translation of this text reads as follows:

We see the Carmelites clothed with Scapulars who—from the hands of the Holy Simon Stock when he, as a foretaste of the reward for his devotion to the Holy Virgin Mary, having been graced to contemplate her, Mary, with this garment in her virginal hands—have accepted the cited Scapular with incredible zeal as their garment.

We can say frankly that in our country all priests could be said to be promoters of this beautiful devotion and, thanks to the piety of their priests, nearly all Catholics in the Netherlands have received the garment of the Lady of Mount Carmel. What Falcone said of Spain at the end of the 16th century may surely be said of the Netherlands today: There is no house where, to be blessed with the countless indulgences and privileges of the Carmelite Order, one does not wear the garment of Carmel.

Blessed Titus Brandsma
Promoting the Holy Scapular in the Netherlands (excerpts)

 

NDMC Simon Stock Baitenhausen_Kirche_Prozessionsfahne
The Blessed Virgin Mary appears to St. Simon Stock
Processional banner, early 18th c. attributed to A. Bastian
Pilgrimage Church Maria zum Berge Carmel
Baitenhausen, Meersburg, Bodenseekreis, Germany
Andreas Praefcke/Wikimedia Commons

 

English translation of fragments of ‘De verspreiding van het H. Scapulier in Nederland’
by Susan Verkerk-Wheatley / Anne-Marie Bos
Translation: Susan Verkerk-Wheatley / Anne-Marie Bos  © Titus Brandsma Instituut 2019

 

 

Quote of the day: 3 June

Pocock, Nicholas, 1740-1821; The Frigate 'Triton'
The Frigate ‘Triton’
Nicholas Pocock (British, 1740–1821)
Oil on canvas, 1797
National Maritime Museum, London
Photo credit: National Maritime Museum / ArtUK

 

we had the happiness of going to com[muni]on, the Same hour as before. mr neale receiv’d it from mr P. after having given it to us. the weather fine wind fair, some part of the day was almost a calm. I was dressed in a fine Silk petticoat and a chince jacket th[a]t had been given me in alms w[hi]ch was So becoming & made me look So Extraordinarily fine th[a]t all my companions were jealous of me.

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.
(Frances Dickinson, 1755-1830)
Journal of a Trip to America, 3rd June 1790

 

Mother-Frances-Dickinson_Port-Tobacco
Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.
(Frances Dickinson, 1755-1830)

 

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. was one of four foundresses of the Teresian Carmel in the United States of America in the summer of 1790. To her fell the task of keeping a daily journal of their ocean voyage aboard the three-masted, square-sailed, merchant frigate Brothers from Texel, Netherlands — departing 25 April — to New York, where they arrived on “friday Morning the 2d of July”. Although she makes no mention of it in her diary entry on the third of June, Mother Clare Joseph was quietly celebrating the anniversary of her profession in the Carmel of Antwerp on 3 June 1773. As for the mention of the petticoat and jacket: the nuns traveled in civilian attire.

 

The Carmelite Adventure: Clare Joseph Dickinson's Journal of a Trip to America and Other Documents 
Edited by Constance FitzGerald, O.C.D.
© 1990 Constance FitzGerald and the Carmelite Sisters of Baltimore
Judith Mendes da Costa - Yad Vashem photo
Sister Judith Mendes da Costa, OP
Judith Mendes da Costa - record detail
The Yad Vashem record of Sr Judith Mendes da Costa, OP

After the August 2 arrest of St. Edith and her sister Rosa Stein, the police van drove them from the Carmel of Echt to the police headquarters in Roermond, Holland. Later the same day, they were transported to the Amersfoort transit camp, arriving after midnight August 3.

On that Sunday, August 2nd, the Nazis rounded up about 300 Hebrew Catholics throughout Holland, bringing them to Amersfoort, from the north and the south of the country. The transport from Roermond in the south was composed of two police vans; the one in which St. Edith and Rosa traveled included six other female religious, also converted Jews. These included Sister Judith Mendes da Costa, a Dominican nun who was an administrator in the Dominican sanitarium Berg en Bosch in Bilthoven, Holland.

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