Radboud University

Who was Titus Brandsma? A timeline

  • 3 February 1881
    Born as Anno Sjoerd Brandsma, a descendant of an old Roman Catholic Frisian farming family from Ugoklooster near Bolsward.

  • 1892 – 1898

    Attended the St. Antonius van Padua Gymnasium in Megen.

  • 17 September 1898

    Entered the Carmelites and took on the monastic name Titus.

Titus als jonge broeder 1905 - Regionaal Archief Nijmegen - publiek domein

  • 17 June 1905
    Ordained as a priest.
  • 1906 - 1909

    Doctoral candidate in Philosophy at the Pontificia Università Gregoriana in Rome.

  • 1909 - 1923

    Teaches at the Carmelite Study House in Oss.

  • 1923

    Initiates the foundation of a Carmelite College in Oldenzaal and in Oss. Appointed Professor of Philosophy and History of Dutch Piety at the Catholic University of Nijmegen.

  • 1923 – 1932

    Proved himself to be a Catholic emancipator, champion of press freedom and advocate for the Frisian language in the educational curriculum of basic and higher education. Involved in numerous Roman Catholic organisations (journalism, education, nature conservation).

  • 1932-1933

    Appointed Rector Magnificus of the Catholic University. Delivers a striking speech on the understanding of God, which characterises the complexity of his beliefs, allowing for both progressive thinking and orthodoxy.

  • 1935

    Acts as a spiritual advisor to the Nederlandsche Rooms–Katholieke Journalistenvereniging, and as such plays a major role in the modernisation of the Catholic daily press in the Netherlands, as well as contributing to the working conditions for Catholic journalists. Sets up a journalism school, which only started to take shape after his death.

  • 1936

    Becomes a member of the Committee of Vigilance against National Socialism, founded by Dutch scholars and artists.

  • 3 October 1939

    Knighted with the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands.

  • 1941

    Resistance against the removal of Jewish pupils and converts from Catholic secondary schools. Makes a tour of the Catholic newspaper directors to explain the ban on NSB advertisements at the Archbishop’s request. This ultimately leads to his arrest.

  • Januari 1942

    Arrested by German occupying forces. Arrives at Dachau concentration camp on 19 June, via Scheveningen prison, Amersfoort concentration camp and Kleef penal prison. As an ‘everyday’ mystic, he is a great moral, spiritual and true support to other inmates throughout his captivity.

  • 26 July 1942

    Dies in Dachau concentration camp.

  • 1982

    Posthumously awarded the Resistance Memorial Cross.

  • 3 November 1985

    Beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II.

  • 1992

    The Titus Brandsma Award for courageous journalism is established.

  • 1999

    Chosen as the ‘most remarkable Catholic’ of the twentieth century by an expert jury in the KRO programme Kruispunt.

  • 2005

    Chosen as Nijmegen's Greatest Citizen of All Time by the people of Nijmegen.

  • 2015

    Posthumously appointed honorary citizen of the city of Oss.

  • 2019
    The premier of the Titus musical, performed in Dokkum. A life between silence and stress is attended by the Bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden, Mgr. Ron van den Hout, Prior General Fernando Millán Romeral from Rome and Prior Provincial Jan Brouns.

  • 2021- 25 May

    A team of medical advisors says that from a scientific point of view, Father Michael Driscoll’s healing is inexplicable. This is the first, vital stage in the process that could lead to Titus Brandsma being canonised by the Pope.

  • 2021 - 9 November

    On 9 November 2021, the cardinals and bishops that are members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints decided on the canonisation of Titus Brandsma at a regular meeting. The prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, will soon submit the conclusions to the Pope for approval. If the Pope confirms the conclusions, he will convene the consistory and announce the canonisation.

  • 2021 - 25 November

    Titus Brandsma is one step closer to canonisation. Pope Francis acknowledged the miracle attributed to Brandsma on Thursday 25 November: the healing of Father Driscoll.

    The bishops and cardinals of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints had already acknowledged this miracle, and the Pope will now adopt their recommendation. Almost all the steps in the canonisation process have now been taken, but it is unclear when the actual canonisation will take place.

  • 2022 - 4 March
    The Catholic Church announced Friday March 4 that Pope Francis will canonise Nijmegen's Titus Brandsma (1881-1942) on May 15 2022. Brandsma was Rector Magnificus and Professor of Philosophy at Radboud University – known then as the Catholic University of Nijmegen. He died in Dachau concentration camp, some six months after he had been arrested by the Nazis for his resistance to National Socialism. In 2005, he was voted Nijmegen’s Greatest Citizen of All Time.